In the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s downfall and the #metoo movement, a lot of inappropriate action by men in power has come to light. Kevin Spacey, Roy Moore, Louis CK, the singer of Brand New, and as of yesterday, senator Al Franken have all been accused of sexual misconduct at the very least, and as of several days ago, the reckoning spread to Suicide Silence vocalist Eddie Hermida. Verena Celis said that Hermida “sexually and emotionally” abused her by convincing her to send him nudes when she was 17 and he was 32.
Hermida has released a statement that stops short of saying “I’m sorry,” but given the fact that she lied about her age, there are shades of gray to the whole incident. He uses the situation to urge men to grow up and asks that the music and metal community abstain from harassing Verena in the wake of her coming forward.
I apologize, first and foremost, to Verena, that she feels hurt, manipulated, and otherwise distressed by any of our past communication. I want to apologize to the people who support my work as a musician (both the fans and behind the scenes) for the discomfort, distrust, and damage these allegations have caused.
Most importantly, I would ask the music community to abstain from ridiculing, ostracizing, or otherwise harassing this young woman. It’s difficult enough for women to come forward with allegations about the behavior of men under any circumstances.
When Verena told me she’d turned 18, I believed her. I made it clear that our conversations should not be of a sexual nature until that time. However I have learned the lesson, the hard way, that it was wrong to engage in any kind of intimate conversations with someone so much younger than me.
I was raised by a single mom who taught me to be respectful to all women. I am ashamed that I have failed. I hope to earn the respect and approval of our fans and to prove that I am not the person this would seem to suggest.
Now more than ever, the responsibility falls on men to be mindful of our words and actions with people, and to listen to the voices of those who come forward, with respect and dignity.
At least Hermida got out in front of the story, and isn’t leaning into a denial. There are probably going to be a lot more stories of sexual misconduct coming forth in the coming weeks in the music community, as women that have been too embarrassed in the past continue to go public with their stories.