Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard being investigated by police amid sexual misconduct allegations
Kayla Goodfield, CP24.com
Published Friday, March 16, 2018 5:32PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 16, 2018 10:05PM EDT
The lead singer of Hedley, Jacob Hoggard, is being investigated by Toronto police amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
Toronto Police Services spokesperson Meghan Gray confirmed the investigation to CP24 on Friday.
Officers have not specified what specific allegations against Hoggard they are investigating but said the Sex Crimes Unit is involved.
“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. “I will not, however, confirm the identity of anyone who may or may not have come forward with a complaint.”
Allegations initially surfaced anonymously on social media against Hoggard and other band members last month. Online users detailed sexually inappropriate encounters band members had with young fans dating back as far as eight years ago.
After these allegations surfaced, the band issued an initial statement online saying their life as a touring band was “an unconventional one.”
“While we are all now either married or have entered into committed, long-term relationships, there was a time, in the past, when we engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock 'n' roll clichés,” the statement issued on Feb. 14 said. “However, there was always a line that we would never cross."
The band said they “respect and applaud the #MeToo movement” within the music industry, “which does not exactly have an enviable history of treating women with the respect they deserve.”
“We appreciate the bravery of those who have come forward with their own stories, and we realize that all of us, as individuals and as a society, can and must do better when it comes to this issue,” the statement said.
"However, if we are to have a meaningful, open and honest discussion, we all have to accept and respect that there are at least two sides to every story. The recent allegations against us posted on social media are simply unsubstantiated and have not been validated. We would hope that people will bear-in-mind the context in which these unsupported accusations have been made before passing judgment on us as individuals or as a band."
On Feb. 19, the band said that blaming a “rock 'n' roll lifestyle” wasn’t good enough.
In a separate statement on Feb. 28, Hoggard said he has never engaged in non-consensual sexual behaviour, but acknowledge that his treatment of women has been “reckless” and “dismissive.”
“I understand the significant harm that is caused not only to the women I interacted with, but to all women who are degraded by this type of behaviour,” Hoggard said. “I have been careless and indifferent and I have no excuse. For this I am truly sorry.”
At the time, he offered an apology to the people, institutions and organizations that have supported him.
The band was dropped as performers for the 2018 Juno Awards on Feb. 14. Organizers of the award show said it was a joint decision with Hedley “after careful consideration of the situation.”
The band members also withdrew from consideration for the three awards they were nominated for at this year’s Juno Awards.
Hedley was dropped by their management team two days after these allegations surfaced and were blacklisted by radio stations across the country.
The band played their first show since announcing an “indefinite hiatus” on March 1 in Brampton. Hoggard took to the stage but did not acknowledge the apology he issued online one day earlier. However, he did thank fans in attendance for their unwavering support.
Their tour is expected to end on March 23.