exclusive News March 3, 2021

Ex-Darling Brando manager David Simon admits allegations ‘could have been dealt with better’ [exclusive]

Ex-Darling Brando manager David Simon admits allegations ‘could have been dealt with better’ [exclusive]

David Simon, the former co-manager of disgraced boy band Darling Brando, says he is “heartbroken” following sexual misconduct allegations levied at members online, TMN can reveal.

The claims against member Alex Mather and reported by TMN last week included the sexual harassment, assault and grooming of an underage girl in 2017 following a show in Wollongong.

In the posts, the alleged victim also claimed she was approached online by Simon, who said he would be “investigating this matter” and taking “appropriate disciplinary action”.

In the text message exchange, Simon asked the then 14-year-old to “please keep this matter off public forums” as the claims could be “destroying” for an artist’s career.

Since the allegations surfaced publicly, Simon has kept quiet – until today.

“In light of allegations against Darling Brando, I feel it is important to share my position on the matter,” Simon said in a statement shared exclusively with TMN.

“I am heartbroken. When managing artists you do your best to handle each situation appropriately, and give everything to your artists and the fans that support them.

“In hindsight, I accept that these situations could have been dealt with better.

“At the time, I thought I had handled matters appropriately. I heard a rumour, I reached out because I care, I wanted to know the truth, and that the alleged victim was ok.

“I was told the matter did not require further investigation. In retrospect, some of my communication was not well worded and I was in over my head. I believed I was supportive at the time but looking back I know now I could have done more and I am sorry.

“There is a lot the music industry can learn in terms of educating and supporting both managers and artists in how to deal with sensitive situations to ensure a bright future for young Australian artists and their fans.

“At this time, I have chosen to step aside from my business relationship with Top Dog Group while they conduct a thorough investigation into the alleged claims.”

Top Dog Group launched a new record label last November, announcing Simon as its A&R director and Shannon Noll, Southbound and Rachael Fahim among the label’s first signings.

A spokesperson for Top Dog told TMN that Simon had never been officially employed by the business despite the role appearing on his LinkedIn profile until at least February 26.

The spokesperson did confirm, however, that there was a “business relationship” between the pair. This included the co-management of Darling Brando and the country band Southbound.

Since the allegations against Mather first became public, band member Tom Jay Williams announced he had quit the lineup, saying his part in the band had become “increasingly untenable” for him.

Darling Brando’s label, Sony Music Australia, later confirmed with TMN it had “parted ways” with the group, and their management company, Top Dog Group, also confirmed it had “suspended” its deal with each member until an internal investigation is complete.

Mather also responded to the claims on the weekend, saying he is “taking the allegations extremely seriously” in a post to his Instagram account.

“I can’t speak for the others,” Mathers wrote, “but I want to apologise for my behaviour in the past, as a 19-20-year-old, I didn’t understand how my words and actions can affect others.

“I’m very sorry for causing any distress, it was not my intention to hurt anyone and I’m certainly not proud of how I behaved at that time, I want to take ownership of this.”

Mather ended the post – which has been liked by over 400 of his 33,000 followers – by saying he can’t change the past and is working on “being a better man for the future”.

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