Members of the pop band After Romeo were sued Thursday by a teen who alleges he was sexually abused by the member who recruited him as a musician.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit names as defendants group members Christopher “Blake” English, Drew Ryan Scott, Jayk Purdy and Tommy “TC” Carter. Also being sued are Jonnie Forster and his company, 4 Sound Entertainment, which manages the band.
The suit alleges sexual harassment, sexual battery, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
A representative of the band could not be immediately reached.
The plaintiff, now 19, was hired by Scott, also known as Jimmy Andrew Richard, in June 2012 at age 14 and worked for the band until May 2015, the suit states. Scott is the group’s main songwriter and has also penned songs for Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers and Selena Gomez.
In summer 2012, the other band members told the plaintiff that Scott was “into young boys,” the suit states. In September 2012, Scott gave the plaintiff a sex toy for his 15th birthday and pressured him to use it until he relented, according to the lawsuit.
The suit alleges Scott engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with the plaintiff hundreds of times and also engaged him in phone sex. The suit also alleges Scott furnished the plaintiff with alcohol.
The other band members knew or should have known about Scott’s abuses of the plaintiff, but “did nothing and ratified such conduct” by continuing to employ Scott, the suit states.
In addition to the sexual allegations, the plaintiff says he toiled six days a week, eight hours a day for the band except during rehearsals, when his work days stretched to 16 hours.
Despite more than 9,000 hours of work, the plaintiff received only about $6,000 during his After Romeo employment, the suit states.
After Romeo’s rise began after the band released videos on YouTube, and later reached number one on the MTV music chart. After Romeo has been playing on Radio Disney and reached number 6 on the countdown.
–City News Service, staff