Members of the pop punk band All Time Low are seeking a court order directing Twitter to turn over the name of one of three still unidentified social media users they say falsely claimed that the group sexually harassed or assaulted their teenage fans.
Lawyers for the music quartet filed court papers on Monday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy asking that the company recently purchased by Elon Musk for $44 billion be ordered to unmask the defendant identified thus far as Doe 2. The band alleges libel and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage in the suit filed Feb. 3.
“Plaintiff brings this motion following extensive meet-and-confer efforts with Twitter’s counsel,” the band’s lawyers state in their court papers. “Twitter ultimately concluded that it was going to apply its standard policy requiring a court order compelling it to comply with a subpoena to identify an anonymous user.”
The plaintiffs’ lawyers also are asking that the judge find they have made a prima facie case of defamation against Doe 2.
Doe 2 maintained on Twitter that as a minor, she attended one of All Time Low’s concerts with friends, circumvented security and regularly engaged in an intimate relationship with lead guitarist Jack Barakat, most of the time without any witnesses, according to the band’s attorneys’ court papers.
Doe 2 further maintains she sent Barakat nude photos of herself, when she was a minor, and that the two often went to parties, according to the band’s attorneys’ court papers.
Doe 2 also asserted that she was involved with the group for years, traveled on tour and that at least one other band member who knew she was being sexually abused protected his bandmate rather than sought to remove him, according to the band’s lawyers’ court papers.
“Despite the fact that the assertions were entirely baseless and untrue, the viral nature of social media and the anonymity of the posters allowed the false statements to proliferate with no foundation in fact, causing the band and its members great reputational harm and harming their business,” the group’s lawyers maintain in their court papers.
In a sworn declaration, Barakat denies Doe 2’s account of sexual misconduct with her.
“The story is completely and utterly false and I unequivocally deny the allegations set forth in it,” Barakat says. “In addition, the story is also defamatory and has directly caused me and (All Time Low) to suffer damage.”
Barakat says Doe 2’s account further alleges that she followed the band from 2013-15 and that the two of them met on a nearly nightly basis.
“This is false,” Barakat says. “Although I am unaware of the identity of Doe 2, I deny that I engaged or participated in any such similar relationship with any fan.”
Barakat, 34, further denies Doe 2’s alleged claim that another band member walked in on him and Doe 2 while Barakat was sexually assaulting her.
“Again, I never sexually assaulted anyone,” Barakat says. “Moreover, none of my bandmates has ever walked in on me engaging in sexual relations with anyone.”
In his own declaration, the band’s lead vocalist, Alex Gaskarth, backs up Barakat’s claim that no fan was involved with the group from 2013-15 or was romantically involved with Barakat during that time.
“No fan was so closely associated with (All Time Low) during that two-year time period, and to my knowledge, Mr. Barakat never had any such relationship with any fan during that period,” the 34-year-old Gaskarth says.
A hearing on the band’s motion to order Twitter to identify Doe 2 is scheduled for Dec. 7.