The Killers‘ law firm Reynolds & Associates has determined the allegations of sexual abuse brought forth by a former crew member to be “entirely unfounded” following an internal investigation, according to a statement obtained by Pitchfork.
The allegations were originally made in a piece written in 2015 — and later published in 2018 — by a sound engineer named Chez Cherrie, who was a crew member on The Killers’ tour in 2009. In the piece, she describes being subjected to frequent sexist comments and jokes, and also describes an alleged “bonus” system, in which crew members were paid extra money to find girls for the band.
Cherrie also describes one alleged incident in particular that happened during a 2009 show in Milwaukee, in which the front of house engineer — or FOH — radioed the other crew members to tell them that a girl had been “set up” in a dressing room, and that they should put their name on a list if they wanted a “turn.” Later that night, Cherrie alleges, venue security approached the crew to tell them that a girl was found “passed out and naked” in a dressing room, which Cherrie writes was met with laughter by the crew members.
In its statement, Reynolds & Associates acknowledges that the FOH engineer was a “problematic workmate,” who was fired from the touring team in 2013. It also acknowledges that a “bonus” system may have been discussed in front of Cherrie, but concludes that it was merely “roadie folklore,” and “not something any of [the crew members] actually did, were ever asked to do, or ever attempted to do.”
Regarding the Milwaukee incident, the law firm determined that the FOH’s radio message was an “attempt at a joke or a ‘hazing.'” Furthermore, it was “unable to find any corroboration whatsoever of a sexual assault at the Milwaukee venue.”
“Via touring records the Legal Team were able to trace the woman from the Milwaukee show’s guest list who was furnished with ‘after show’ passes from the FOH Engineer and confirm with her that she did not experience, witness or hear about a sexual assault,” the statement reads.
The statement does acknowledge that members of The Killers crew have used “vulgar” and “crass” language in the past, but adds that tour management has been “increasingly vigilant” in deterring that in recent years, so much so that such language is now “extremely rare.”
In an effort to make sure crew members can be more better heard in the future if they have concerns, The Killers will be setting up an “off-site independent HR contact.”
In response to the statement, Cherrie shared a statement of her own, writing she’s “surprised” that the FOH radio call was characterized as “hazing,” but is “beyond relieved” that the woman from the dressing room was found and is “reportedly fine.”
“If ‘hazing’ is the reason why I heard about the bonus incentives and otherwise, this reflects the larger issue in this industry,” Cherrie writes. “That ‘hazing’ towards the only women on the technical crew was normal, expected, accepted and not questioned by anyone, including myself.”
By Josh Johnson
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