Hedley frontman being investigated by police amid sexual misconduct claims
Toronto police say that an investigation is underway into Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard.
Police spokesperson Meaghan Gray confirmed Friday that the investigation is being led by the Sex Crimes Unit but refused to comment on the nature of the allegations they’re looking into.
“I have just spoken with the lead investigator in our Sex Crimes Unit and I can confirm there is an ongoing investigation and that no charges have been laid at this time,” Gray said via email. “I will not, however, confirm the identity of anyone who may or may not have come forward with a complaint”
The Vancouver-based band found themselves the subject of sexual misconduct allegations – some involving young fans – after claims surfaced anonymously on social media back in February.
Following the flood of online claims, the band responded with a statement saying they “respect and applaud the #MeToo movement” and “appreciate the bravery of those who have come forward with their own stories.”
Though they called the claims “unsubstantiated,” they acknowledged that they “engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock ‘n’ roll clichés.”
“However, there was always a line that we would never cross,” they wrote.
The organizers of the annual Juno Awards were the first to pull the plug on the band, announcing that the decision to drop them from the 2018 performance lineup was made in collaboration with its members “after careful consideration of the situation.”
In the weeks following, the band opted to withdraw themselves from consideration for three awards. They were later abandoned by their management team as well as one of the opening bands scheduled on their ongoing cross-Canada tour. Numerous major radio stations across Canada also went on to blacklist their music.
The allegations against the band came to a head on Feb. 25 when CBC published a story detailing 24-year-old woman’s allegations of sexual assault against Hoggard.
Three days later, a Calgary radio host accused Hoggard of groping her and making inappropriate sexual remarks at the station she worked at seven years ago.
The band then announced that it would be taking an “indefinite hiatus” when its cross-country tour comes to a close at the end of March.
Hoggard went on to release an additional statement independently, saying he never engaged in non-consensual sexual activity. He went on to apologize to his supporters, promising to ‘regain their respect.”
“I understand the significant harm that is caused not only to the women I interacted with, but to all the women who are degraded by this type of behaviour,” Hoggard wrote. “I have been careless and indifferent and I have no excuse. For this I am truly sorry.”
Their tour is expected to end on March 23.
With files from the Canadian Press