All Time Low files libel lawsuit to fight back against sexual assault allegations

Allegations against the band first surfaced back in October
All Time Low
Photo credit Getty Images

All Time Low has filed a libel lawsuit against at least three people that claimed on social media that the band had sexually harassed or assaulted teenaged fans.

Listen to the latest in the world of Alternative on ALT New Arrivals

Exclusive Station
ALT New Arrivals
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

In a complaint obtained by Rolling Stone, All Time Low claims the group doesn’t know who the accusers are as their anonymity has left them “no choice but to mobilize and utilize the civil court system to identify the culprits, prove that the defamatory statements are false, and seek justice.”

“The purpose of the lawsuit is to establish the unambiguous truth and quash these malicious lies so that they won’t be repeated in the future,” the complaint continues. All four band members, Jack Barakat, Alex Gaskarth, Zack Merrick, and Rian Dawson plan to “utilize discovery including subpoenas to uncover the identities of those that defamed them.”

“Regrettably, this is the only course remaining to properly restore their reputations and repair the damage to their business. [The band] will then donate any proceeds derived from this litigation to charities that support victims of sexual abuse,” the complaint states.

Allegations against the band first surfaced on TikTok and Twitter back in October. The first accusation came from a TikTok user, who said that a famous pop-punk band invited her onto a tour bus when she was 13 and offered her beer and requested her bra. The woman did not name the group in her post.

Weeks later, a second woman accused Barakat of sexually abusing her in 2011 when she was 15 and he was 22. A third accuser then came forward claiming to have 97 allegations against the band.

Following the accusations, all members of All Time Low issued a statement calling the allegations “absolutely and unequivocally false."

“We are investigating further the source of these false accusations and will be seeking legal recourse as we take these allegations very seriously,” the band wrote at the time.

“With that in mind, we want to say again, we stand with victims and always wish to amplify the voices and stories of those who have suffered abuse and trauma. But we cannot and will not fuel or amplify lies that only cloud and distort the true stories of those who need to be heard and represented.”

Listen to Emo Kids, now on Audacy

Exclusive Station
Emo Kids
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

Rolling Stone spoke with lawyer David M. Ring, who is not affiliated with this case, as he noted the risk in bringing a suit like this forward. “This is not something that any individual would walk into lightly,” Ring said.

“I guarantee they have been advised that by bringing a lawsuit, they’re opening themselves up to discovery that would include all of the allegations that were made online. By bringing a lawsuit, it appears they’re entering willingly, knowing there’s going to be investigations into their background, and they don’t care.”

Ring says a lawsuit like this carries a “pandora’s box element” that could backfire against the band. “If you’re just doing this to be a bully and shut people up, it could backfire,” he said.

“You might be lighting a fire under other victims to retain counsel. More women might start coming forward out of pure anger, feeling like they have to do something.”

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign up and follow Audacy
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images