5 Seconds of Summer guitarist Michael Clifford has denied allegations of sexual assault that emerged on Twitter earlier today (June 15).
One second-hand account of abuse shared on Twitter by user @knowyoureta claimed that Clifford “used to invite underaged girls to his hotel room/tour bus after shows”. The user alleged an incident occurred while 5 Seconds of Summer were supporting One Direction on tour in 2014.
The tweets claimed that Clifford allegedly invited an underaged fan back to his hotel room after a show one night and “started touching her inappropriately”. User @knowyoureta finished the series of tweets by saying the girl in question “tried to speak up” but “no one believed her.”
The account @knowyoureta that sent those tweets, which NME reviewed while they were available, has since been deleted.
Other allegations of sexual assault were also made by another Twitter user, whose account was later deleted.
Michael Clifford has responded via Twitter by denying the allegations, saying he is “heartbroken to read these things that are being said” and the accusations are “BEYOND untrue.”
He wrote that he “was never allowed in the crowd” and “only ever watched at front of house”.
holy shit. i am heartbroken to read these things that are being said – they are just BEYOND untrue. i was never allowed in the crowd i only ever watched at front of house – and i would've never EVER done that. i wouldf NEVER do anything like that. i'm so fucking upset
— michael clifford (@Michael5SOS) June 15, 2020
Clifford replied to another fan with a video of the band surrounded by a mass of fans in Canada in 2013.
“this is what life was like in 2013,” Clifford wrote. “please understand it wouldve been logistically impossible for me to get through a crowd at a show i just played at! im not trying to be defensive i promise this is just so completely false.”
In another reply, Clifford said, “i really just dont know what i can even say. people are asking me to explain but how can i explain something that i was never involved with in the first place? i truly want to give you what you’re asking from me but what more can i say?”
Adam Wilkinson, who worked as 5 Seconds of Summer’s manager during the period the alleged sexual assault took place, also denied any possibility of them being true.
“All accusations of this kind should be taken seriously if the information can be cross referenced and substantiated,” Wilkinson said in a Facebook post. “That’s not the case here and I can confirm at all times I was with the band, they were escorted to front of house from backstage at all times, often by multiple body guards and crew. There is simply no possibility of this accusation to have occurred…”
Read his post below.
Lots of stories over the past 24 hours circulating about the 5SOS boys from “anonymous” and “burner” twitter accounts….
At the time of writing, no other band members have commented and Clifford has not made any further statements. NME has reached out to 5 Seconds of Summer’s UK PR for comment and will update if we receive a response.