The Neighbourhood fires drummer after sexual assault allegations
Rock band the Neighbourhood announced over the weekend that they have dismissed their drummer, Brandon Fried, after several women accused Fried of sexual assault.
María Zardoya, lead singer of the Los Angeles-based indie pop band the Marías, said on the group’s Instagram account Sunday that Fried had groped her while at a bar the previous evening.
“I was at a bar last night, and I was groped under the table by Brandon Fried ... the drummer of the Neighbourhood. It was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve ever experienced. I felt an invasion of my space, privacy and body,” Zardoya wrote in an Instagram story.
“Ya’ll need a new drummer,” Zardoya added, tagging the Neighbourhood’s account. “This guy is a total creep.”
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Zardoya’s post drew outcry from fans, who called on Fried’s bandmates, including lead singer Jesse Rutherford, for accountability. The allegation prompted another woman, Sofi Padilla to speak out about Fried’s alleged behavior.
“With [Zardoya] saying something I felt like I needed to too,” Padilla wrote in a tweet.
In her Instagram account, the music manager accused Fried of sexually assaulting her in May. She also shared screenshots from a conversation she had with Fried over Instagram direct messages from May 7.
“You definitely crossed the line and it was pretty disappointing,” Padilla wrote to Fried in the May conversation.
Fried responded by apologizing for “being such a drunk guy” the night before and that “no amount of drugs or alcohol can excuse behavior like that.”
Padilla on Sunday said she has struggled to move forward from the experience, which she said has been “awkward and shameful” since the two share friends.
“To be honest what happened with Brandon is something I think about almost daily,” she wrote. “You can feel like you’re totally in control until someone makes you feel powerless.”
By Sunday afternoon, Fried issued an apology via Instagram to Zardoya for his “inexcusable and intolerable” actions.
“They are not reflective of who I am as a person, but clearly a reflection of who I become while under the influence,” Fried wrote, partly attributing his behavior to his struggles with alcohol and substance abuse, adding that he is seeking help.
Fried went on to offer a broader apology to “women who have been victims of any behavior that has left them feeling uncomfortable or violated.” But shortly after his post, the Neighbourhood announced his termination in a statement shared on the band’s social media accounts:
“We are grateful to Maria for coming forward. We have zero tolerance for any kind of inappropriate behavior towards women. As a result of Brandon’s actions, he will no longer be a member of The Neighbourhood.”
The Neighbourhood formed in Newbury Park in 2011 and is known for multiplatinum singles “Daddy Issues” and “Sweater Weather,” which found new life after a sped-up version of the song was used for a TikTok dance trend in 2020. Fried joined the band in 2014 after former drummer Bryan Sammis left to pursue a solo career.
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