Exclusive: He Is We’s Rachel Taylor further comments on sexual assault allegations

3355
Rachel Taylor He Is We

A day after being accused of sexual assault by a former touring guitarist and issuing a statement in response, He Is We vocalist Rachel Taylor has spoken further about the allegations against her.

Speaking exclusively to Substream, Taylor commented:

“As someone who has watched two guilty men walk away from sexual assault charges, I take this all very seriously.

It disgusts me that the true allegation is “poking her butt while you were asleep in the hotel bed” and the words being used, imply sexual assault. Anyone who has been sexually assaulted will understand the weight of those words. I will not allow the beautiful community of “He Is We” to be dragged through a toxic bout of extortion. I would not and did not do anything illegal and nothing was ever communicated implying anything like this.

All I can hope is that people who have been hurt by violence of any kind will know that I’ll continue to speak truth and stand beside them.

“We are broken hearts with a motive to move the world.””

As we first reported, Taylor was accused of sexual assault by former touring guitarist Macy Santa Maria. We are continuing to investigate this story and will bring you additional updates as they become available. You can find the original allegations below:

I had the opportunity to do what I love this past summer and play guitar for the band He Is We, but unfortunately it was short lived. The night before the first show, I was sexually assaulted by the lead singer Rachel Taylor. I have contemplated sharing my story and have decided to share it on my own in hopes to raise awareness of sexual assault, specifically in the music industry. My objective is shed a little light on sexual assault, that a man or WOMAN is capable of committing. Rachel Taylor has ruined a part me and for her to have the opportunity to hide from this and continue her music career is disgusting. This is something I’m not going to hide from, and neither should anyone facing this issue.

This was a situation that was instigated by Rachel and she is solely to blame. She was the one who got violently drunk and began to grab me. She was the one who continued the inappropriate behavior no matter how many times I said stop or took her hands off of me, she is the reason why we had to stop touring and she is the reason I feel sick on a regular basis. What she did was not okay and should not be tolerated. The morning after it happened I just tried to push it out of my mind because it was the first day of tour and I was just focused on doing my job. By the second day of tour, it was at the forefront of my mind and all I could think about. It was then I decided to speak up about how I felt.

After I spoke up about how uncomfortable I was with what had happened, band mates Wes Chamberlain and Ben McBride quickly jumped into action to keep Rachel and I separated and to make sure I was okay. Once informed of the situation, the booking agent Bobby Hendrix quickly pulled He Is We from the tour and worked with me to get a flight home. Wes, Ben and Bobby did everything right and are not to be blamed for this at all. They did everything in their power to take care of me in the most vulnerable and distraught state that I’ve ever been in and I am so thankful to have them in my life. I really don’t know what I would have done without them. Wes, Ben, Bobby and Adamm Mitchell (guitarist and producer) have all separated themselves from He Is We and associated artists have been warned about this behavior.

Just for clarification, I never initially wanted to leave the tour. I never said or expressed in any way that I wanted to leave the tour prior to this incident.

Playing music and touring is something that I’m really passionate about and I never wanted to stop doing that. I also did not receive any financial compensation for this. I had to buy my own flight home and was only paid for the two drive days and two show days that were completed. I did asked to be compensated for my flight home home because that was in the original pay agreement and I ask to be compensated for the rest of the tour because I had to quit my job to do this and never heard back. I let it go because I am not looking for money out of this.

There is a police case open on this, an OOP is out and I also reached out to a publication company to cover the story, but because it is such a sensitive topic that gives me so much anxiety I have decided to release my statement on my own first. I’m also doing this to clear the names of my fellow bandmates Ben and Wes. They have done nothing wrong no matter how much Rachel has spoken negatively of them or accused then of any false wrongdoing. They stood up and did the right thing and I am insanely proud of them. Again, I am not looking for money, “15 minutes of fame” or anything else other than telling the truth.

I was considering not saying anything at all because I wanted to keep touring, but I couldn’t stand how I felt. People are hesitant to speak up about abuse in the music industry because of the fear of losing their job. That should never be an issue standing in front of doing the right thing. The only way we’re going to see that change is if we speak up. Finding statistics for women sexually assaulting women was near impossible. The only one I could find was for women sexually assaulting women in prison and that was 4% (“How Often Do Women Rape Men?”, 2016). Women do sexually assault people and we need to end the stigma around that. That needs to be known.

She has been trying to sweep this under the rug since it happened and if you feel as passionately about this as I do, do not let that happen. Please share and tag larger sources if you feel comfortable doing so.

Also If you have been a victim of sexual assault there are some resources listed below. My door is always open too.

A Voice For The Innocent – http://www.avoicefortheinnocent.org
Anti Violence Project (serves LGBT) – https://avp.org
Hotline – 212.714.1124
Punk Talks – https://www.punktalks.org
National Sexual Assault Hotline – 800.656.4673
National Sexual Violence Resource Center – https://www.nsvrc.org

Be sure to follow Substream on Twitter for updates.