The four original members of all the time low filed a lawsuit on Thursday (February 3) against three people who claimed via social media that the band harassed or sexually assaulted their teenage fans.
The nine-page lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court and obtained by Billboard claims band members Jack Barakat, Alex Gaskarth, Zack Merrick and Rian Dawson “are victims of defamatory social media posts falsely and maliciously accusing them of sexual abuse and knowingly enabling such unlawful conduct.”
The group, according to the complaint, plans “to use discovery, including subpoenas, to uncover the identities of those who defamed them.”
The document also notes that All Time Low “would have preferred to confront the perpetrators first before taking legal action” and had “no choice because the perpetrators hid behind pseudonyms on social media to avoid to take responsibility for their defamatory and harmful messages”.
The lawsuit comes nearly four months after the group shared a joint statement via Twitter on Oct. 25 denying the charges. “The allegations made against us are absolutely and unequivocally false,” said the group wrote at the time.
A statement from the four of us. pic.twitter.com/tazxZAKOkr
– All Time Low (@AllTimeLow) October 25, 2021
The first defendant, identified in the lawsuit as Doe 1, posted two viral videos on TikTok in October 2021, claiming that “a famous pop punk band” offered her beer on a tour bus and asked her for her bra “for their ugly collection” when she was 13. She followed up with another video with the caption, “I’ve been crying all day because people’s favorite bad pop punks are pedos.
While she didn’t name the group specifically, the complaint says she “provided easy-to-resolve clues, then confirmed the identity when other users commented that she was referring to the group.”
According to the complaint, a Twitter user named @spidahkii came forward and refuted Doe 1’s claims, saying they attended the concert together and Doe 1’s claims “never happened.” The lawsuit also claims that Doe 1 admitted to posting his statements “to be mean to a peer”, made his video private and changed his username.
A few weeks after the Doe 1 allegation, another woman going by the @ATLstatement on Twitter but referred to as Doe 2 in the complaint, shared a long statement to Twitter and TikTok alleging that Barakat sexually assaulted her in 2011 when she was 15 and he was 22. She claimed the relationship continued for years until 2016 when she claims that another member of the group saw her being sexually assaulted. Doe 2’s Twitter account has since been suspended, although his post still remains on TikTok.
The final defendant in the lawsuit, a Twitter user with the handle @dietsodasage referred to as Doe 3 in the document, posted a tweet noting that she had counted 97 allegations against All Time Low. “Without any evidence, Doe 3 blatantly and falsely asserted that ’97 allegations’ were made against the group, an accusation that has spread like wildfire across the internet,” the lawsuit states, before adding that “Doe 3 later admitted to acting irresponsibly”. to spread this lie without verifying it, but by then it was too late.
Billboard has contacted the band for further comment.