Last week, the Killers announced that they would launch an investigation into their tour staff, past and present, because of allegations of sexual abuse. A female sound engineer wrote that she’d heard evidence of an intoxicated woman being abused backstage by the band’s road crew in 2009. The engineer claimed that one member of the crew would radio others when it was their “turn” with her in a specific dressing room. The engineer posted the story online a few years ago but then confirmed that the band in question was the Killers. Today, the Killers’ legal team reports that their investigation found “no corroboration” of the story of abuse.
The BBC reports that Reynolds & Associates, the legal firm who works with the Killers, claims that the accusations “were discovered to be entirely unfounded” and that the sound engineer “received much of the information she shared from a second or third hand source… She confirmed that she did not witness the alleged events herself.”
Reynolds & Associates said that some crew engineers identified one sound-crew member as “a problematic workmate” who made “sexist and rude comments” but that the talk of a woman being kept in a dressing room backstage was “an attempt at a joke or a ‘hazing.'” That crew member no longer works with the Killers.
Meanwhile, staff at the venue, the Eagles Ballroom at the Rave in Milwaukee, says “that dressing rooms are not, and have never been, labelled alphabetically, and at that time the dressing rooms were interconnected and without doors.” Meanwhile, the catering team reports that “at no point did they see or hear of a drunk or naked woman in any dressing room.”
The law firm also claims that they located and interviewed the woman who’d reportedly been in the backstage area: “The guest in question confirmed that she and her friend were backstage after the show, did not witness any ‘train’ or ‘line-up,’ nor were they left behind in the dressing rooms at the venue.”
But the band regrets that the engineer who made the claims was made to feel unsafe, or that she felt that she couldn’t report what she was hearing at the time. They promise to use “an off-site independent HR contact for all tours going forward,” so that employees can report concerns anonymously.
Writing under the name Chez Currie, the sound engineer has posted a response to the Killers’ investigation on Twitter. She says she’s “grateful” that the Killers took her claims seriously and that they’ve made moves to keep things like that from happening again. But she also writes that the existence of this kind of “hazing” is unacceptable and that it indicates a larger problem within the industry.