The boy band Why Don’t We has come forward with allegations of abuse they say they suffered at the hands of their production company.
On Thursday, Jack Avery, Corbyn Besson, Zach Herron, Jonah Marais, and Daniel Seavey penned a lengthy statement to WDW followers, detailing the “mental, emotional, and financial abuse” they experienced over the past few years. The group members wrote:
“Without a doubt, publicly sharing our truth makes us feel more vulnerable, however, it is a step we are forced to take to provide the world with access to the harsh behind the scenes that we endured as young teens where verbal abuse, malnourishment, and ultimate control were positioned as the price of success.”
The singers claimed that when they started the band between the ages of 15 and 18 years old, they “were initially excited to all be living together in the same house, working together on what we loved most, our music.” However, they soon realized the situation wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be:
“Little did we know that we would eventually become prisoners in the ‘Why Don’t We compound’ under the supervision of one of our managers at Signature Entertainment Partners.”
While they don’t name the individual in the scathing post, the band is currently facing a legal battle with their manager David Loeffler — so it is safe to say that he is who the musicians are referring to.
“He would not only live with us during the day, but controlled us 24/7, setting an alarm that would go off if any door or window was opened. Needless-to-say, we were not given the security code to the alarm, essentially making us hostages in our own home.”
Additionally, the members said that food was “restricted to the point that some band members developed eating disorders” and often had to sneak and “hide” food in the house. Wtf?! They also claimed they “were verbally berated almost every day and alienated from our friends and families” before adding:
“We had no support system except for each other and were made to believe that this was ‘normal,’ that every artist had to pay their dues. Unfortunately, this need for extreme dominance has played out for the duration of our careers in a variety of ways that have not only inflicted physical and mental, but also extreme financial harm to us.”
Concluding their letter, the 8 Letters crooners said they “will no longer be silenced” and hope to eventually close “the chapter on this traumatic stage in our lives by turning the page to our truth.” They then added:
“Our commitment remains to our music, to our label, and most of all to our fans who we cherish and draw strength from as we find our way through this journey.”
Wow. It truly makes us sick to our stomach thinking about what these performers had to endure at a young age. Just awful. Take a look at the entire post (below):
The statement comes after Why Don’t We actually filed a petition with the California Labor Commission to terminate their contract with Loeffler. And as we mentioned before, the previous VMA nominees have been stuck in the middle of a very public legal matter between their co-managers Randy Phillips and Loeffler, who have filed opposing lawsuits over the group.
According to court documents obtained by Billboard, Phillips wants to remove David from the band’s management team due to alleged abusive behavior towards the five gentlemen. He detailed the accusations in the lawsuit, which were very similar to those the band made in their IG post. His attorney Howard King shared that while Loeffler lived with the band, he displayed some extremely “nightmarish behavior,” including “daily verbal abuse, screaming at them at the top of his lungs, sometimes for 10-20 minutes.” Furthermore, David “forced the five members to share two small bedrooms, even though the house had a spare, unused bedroom that was upstairs.” Beyond messed up.
Meanwhile, Loeffler sued Phillips and the boys for breach of contract and anticipatory breach of contract, as they are reportedly refusing to renew their contract with Atlantic Records.
Man, if this is true, we are really hoping that Why Don’t We can get out of this disturbing, alleged arrangement created by their production company. Reactions to the accusations made by the band members, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below).
[Image via Brian To/WENN]
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