Calgary radio host accuses Hedley frontman of sexual misconduct
Jacob Hoggard, frontman for the rock group Hedley, performs during the band's concert in Halifax on Feb. 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, March 1, 2018 8:02AM EST
CALGARY -- A radio host in Calgary has come forward with a new sexual misconduct allegation against the frontman of the Canadian pop-rock group Hedley.
Katie Summers, who co-hosts the morning show on 90.3 AMP, says she encountered the band about seven years ago while she was working evenings at the music station.
During a post-interview meet-and-greet, Summers, who was 23 at the time, told lead singer Jacob Hoggard she was a fan and that she'd seen the group perform recently.
"He just made this comment to me about performing oral sex on him out in the alley if I was lucky and it kind of took me off guard," Summers recalled in an interview Wednesday.
"I didn't react because I didn't really know what to say in that moment."
They then posed for a photo.
"And as the photo op was sort of over and he was getting ready to leave, he sort of just touched my rear end. It was very fast. It all kind of happened in a flurry and I chalked it up to rock star behaviour."
There were four or five other people there at the time, including representatives of the band and its record label, Summers said.
"It's not like he said it to me in a dark hallway or in secret or anything," said Summers. "He said it out loud like it was a joke, but it still made me feel uncomfortable."
A witness who was in the room at the time told Global News that he saw Hoggard grab Summers' buttocks, but does not remember the specific comment the musician made.
Anonymous sexual misconduct allegations against the Vancouver band began emerging online earlier this month.
The group announced Wednesday night that it was taking an indefinite hiatus to "work on our personal relationships and who we are as individuals."
Hedley has been dropped by its management team, blacklisted by scores of radio stations and abandoned by bands booked as tour openers in recent weeks, as various allegations have surfaced. Hedley also withdrew itself from consideration for the Juno Awards.
The band's members have called the allegations involving young fans "unsubstantiated," but acknowledged that in the past they "engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock 'n' roll cliches."
A CBC story on Sunday recounted a 24-year-old woman's allegation that Hoggard sexually assaulted her in a hotel two years ago. A lawyer for Hoggard has denied any wrongdoing by the musician.
Hoggard did not respond directly to Summers' allegations, but Wednesday night he issued a statement apologizing for how he has treated women over the past 13 years.
"The way I've treated women was reckless and dismissive of their feelings," Hoggard said on Twitter.
"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. I have been careless and indifferent and I have no excuse. For this I am truly sorry."
Hoggard was adamant that he has never engaged in what he calls non-consensual sexual behaviour.
Summers said she wasn't traumatized by the encounter and didn't lose any sleep over it. If anything, it made her lose respect for a band she admired.
But she said the .metoo movement inspired her to share her story.
Since accusations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein began surfacing last fall, there has been a barrage of allegations against some of the most powerful men in entertainment, media and politics.
"I'm OK, but it's important to know that there are a lot of people who experienced something like this, whether it's with this same person in this same band, or a boss at work or a teacher at school or who knows?" Summers said.
"It's OK to tell your story if you're ready to tell it, because somebody out there will listen to you."