Austin Carlile, the former singer of metalcore band Of Mice & Men, has responded after he was accused of sexual assault by multiple women.
In a lengthy post, Carlile opened up after he was accused of assault by several women last week.
“In my younger years, I absolutely was not the best person, but I have never physically abused, preyed upon, forced myself upon, or drugged any woman. These accusations are false and defamatory,” he wrote.
“I am not a perfect person: I smoked marijuana daily, drank often, got into fights and acted like a jerk more times than I can count. I did things and acted in ways that I am not proud of, but never have I violated anyone. These ‘accusations’ being thrown around on social media, in our current ‘cancel culture’ climate, are extremely heinous and completely without merit.”
Carlile, who became a born-again Christian in 2016, went on: “My wife is a molestation and rape survivor, and I have personally seen the deep, long-standing pain that she battles with every day. I have spent years surrendering my flesh over to God, allowing Him to constantly improve who I am as a man, husband, and father. During this past week, I have even had the joy of seeing the heartbeat of my new child for the very first time. Today, I am focused on supporting my pregnant wife, our daughter, this new blessing in our lives, my health, my wife’s health, and striving to be a better person every day.
“These accusations have been investigated by the appropriate authorities as well as independent journalists and were determined to be unfounded. I apologise to the Marfan Foundation, I Am Second, my former bandmates and any of our dedicated fans who have been unjustly brought into this controversy and wish them all nothing but the best.
“All women deserve to feel safe, supported, and heard, but these unjust attacks upon my family and accusations against me, are decades-old claims that are unfounded.”
In a lengthy open letter published last week, a former fan called Caitlyn Stiffer claimed that Carlile had assaulted girls and abused his position to seek out girls for sex.
Accusing the magazine Alternative Press of shelving a story, she wrote: “He threatened you with a lawsuit and you backed down. I get it, who would want to be involved in that when you could just… not. That was your choice, a choice none of us had. We can’t just let it go and forget. I for one had hoped that you would at the very least stop featuring him. Guess I was wrong to hope that.
“He needs [to be] CANCELLED. Get him out of these kids’ faces who believe he’s a good person deserving of recognition.”
In their own statement, Alternative Press said: “For legal purposes regarding the Austin Carlile accusations, the story couldn’t run as it was told. As a female-led, lgbtq+ editorial staff, we’re going to reopen this & find the answers you’re looking for. We do not condone any of the accusations & this story WILL be heard.”
Before Carlile issued his response, the current line-up of Of Mice & Men distanced themselves from the allegations.
They said: “Yesterday we heard for the first time of an alleged article that was written, and apparently subsequently shelved, regarding a former member of our band.
“This individual has not been a member of Of Mice & Men for almost four years and neither the band, nor the team around us, has had any part in suppressing any such article.
“We absolutely condemn sexual violence and harassment in any form”
Carlile formed Of Mice & Men in 2009, but parted ways with the band in late 2016 to focus on his chronic health issues as a result of the genetic disorder Marfan Syndrome. Aaron Pauley, the band’s bassist at the time, went on to become their new frontman.