Jacob Hoggard , the lead singer of Canadian band Hedley, announced on Wednesday (Feb. 28) that he’s stepping away from his career “indefinitely.” This comes amid sexual assault accusations against the singer and the band from two anonymous women and countless individuals on Twitter via the hashtag #outHedley2k18.
Taking to Twitter, the former Canadian Idol runner-up denied the allegations but admitted to poor conduct with women. “I have never engaged in non-consensual sexual behaviour in my life. Ever,” he said. “However, over the last 13 years, I have behaved in a way that objectified women. The way I’ve treated women was reckless and dismissive of their feelings.” He went on to apologize for his behavior: “I was given a position of leadership and power and I mishandled it. I will regret this for the rest of my life. I’ve let down my family, my friends, and so many fans. I’m sorry.”
The band also released a statement, as some of the allegations were directed at all of the group members, including guitarist Dave Rosin , bassist Tommy Mac and drummer Jay Beni. The statement reads, “We have unanimously decided to continue this tour to the end. Following this tour, Hedley will be taking an indefinite hiatus to work on our personal relationships and who we are as individuals.” They have vowed to take “a long hard look in the mirror” and do some “soul-searching.”
An unidentified woman from Ottawa detailed her assault in an interview with CBC, opening up about numerous acts of non-consensual sexual behaviour between her and Jacob. The then-24-year-old explained that she met the singer at Toronto’s Thompson Hotel after meeting on dating app Tinder in 2016. A Calgary based radio host has also accused Jacob, 33, of sexual assault.
A usual staple at Canadian music awards shows, Hedley was nominated for three JUNOs this year and were also slated to perform. The band withdrew from consideration for the awards last Monday (Feb. 19) and will no longer be performing at the March 24 event, as announced by the Canadian organization on Twitter on Feb. 14. However, they will continue the tour that promotes their latest album Cageless “for the countless people that depend on this tour for their livelihood.”
After careful consideration of the situation and in discussions with the band, CARAS and Hedley have decided that the band will not be performing at the 2018 JUNO Awards.— The JUNO Awards (@TheJUNOAwards) February 14, 2018