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News March 3, 2021

Former Darling Brando manager says allegations ‘could have been dealt with better’

Former Darling Brando manager says allegations ‘could have been dealt with better’

Former Darling Brando manager David Simon has weighed in on the sexual misconduct allegations against band member Alex Mather.

The Sydney boy-band found themselves embroiled in controversy last week after a series of damning posts shared on Instagram stories alleged Mather of acting inappropriately at a Meet & Greet in Wollongong for one of his previous bands back in 2017. The alleged victim was 14 at the time.

The screenshots in question relate to a message conversation between the young woman and David Simon that took place on July 17th, 2017. The woman detailed the alleged misconduct that took place during the Meet & Greet, to which Simon confirmed that he was  “aware of a complaint” she had made against Mather and requested more information about the incident.

Elsewhere in the thread, Simon requested that she “please keep this matter off public forums as these claims can be very damaging even career destroying to an artist.”

“I do believe [the incident] may have been accidental and may not have been intended,” he continued.

In another post, the woman shared a screenshot of a Snapchat message allegedly sent by Mather, in which he writes: “you’re sexy as fuck” and “only illegal if we get caught”.

This was followed by a screenshot of a text from David Simon to the woman, in which he wrote, “I’m aware that Alex tells a lot of people they are “sexy as fuck”, this is his way of trying to make girls feel good about themselves.”

top tog messages

Note: TIO has redacted certain parts of the message exchange.

Now, in an exclusive report published by The Music Network, David Simon has publicly acknowledged the misconduct allegations for the first time.

“In light of allegations against Darling Brando, I feel it is important to share my position on the matter,” Simon wrote.

“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.”

He continued, “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.”

David Simon went on to say that there is work to be done in terms of properly education managers and musicians in the Australian music industry on how to effectively deal with incidents of this nature.

“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,” he continued.

Elsewhere in the statement, Simon confirmed that he has stepped away from his role at Top Dog Group.

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

A spokesperson for Top Dog told The Music Network that, despite Simon’s statement, he had never been officially employed by the business.

TIO understands that whilst Simon is not an official employee of the Top Dog Group, he had a business relationship with the company to co-manage some of their artists, including Darling Brando and Southbound.

In an earlier statement provided to TIO, Top Dog confirmed that they were aware of the allegations levied against Darling Brando.

“Top Dog Group commenced operations in 2017 and signed Darling Brando in 2018. As a modern music company, Top Dog does not condone or tolerate any form of abuse to any gender,” the statement read.

“Top Dog has become aware of allegations recently posted on social media regarding Darling Brando,” the statement continued. “The alleged behaviour does not align with Top Dog’s values. Top Dog is investigating the matter and has suspended the management arrangement between the company and the artists.”

Following the allegations coming to light, Darling Brando announced that its three members, Alex Mather, Tom Jay Williams and Vlado Saric had parted ways.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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