Former Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley hit back against what he called “false accusations” of sexual harassment on Friday in a statement. Trumpeter James Frost-Winn recently sued Tinsley, alleging that he sexually harassed him repeatedly while they worked together in the band Crystal Garden.
Tinsley did not address any of Frost-Winn’s allegations directly, but denied any wrongdoing. “I’m truly hurt by the one-sided account that appeared on a blog about me yesterday,” the violinist said in a statement. “I only wish the reporter had spoken to me first, so they would have heard the truth.”
Tinsley pledged to “fight both in and out of court to repair the damage that has been done” by what he described as “false accusations.” “These accusations have caused embarrassment for my family, my friends and my fans,” he added.
Frost-Winn’s suit alleged that Tinsley began to harass the trumpeter “in Nov. 2015, when Defendant Tinsley ejaculated next to Plaintiff Winn and touched Winn’s buttocks while Plaintiff Winn was sleeping.” Tinsley allegedly apologized for the incident, claiming he was “confused on pills,” but Frost-Winn accuses the violinist of continuing to send numerous sexually suggestive texts.
The suit also alleges that Tinsley insisted that Frost-Winn could not leave the band. Despite this, the trumpeter eventually decided to quit Crystal Garden in August 2016. “He felt that if he had stayed, he would be living in shame,” the lawsuit explains. “Plaintiff Winn felt there was no honor in simply staying for the money and the lifestyle he had lived through Defendant Tinsley – he knew it would not have felt right to continue living a lie – knowing that Defendant Tinsley had sexually preyed on him, lied to him, and would continue doing so.”
“We are disappointed in Mr. Tinsley’s complete lack of personal responsibility for his actions,” Frost-Winn’s lawyer, Jason Hatch, tells Rolling Stone. “Further, multiple media sources have indicated that they reached out to Mr. Tinsley and that he made no attempt to become a part of the conversation. His statement ‘I only wish the reporter had spoken to me first’ is disingenuous at best. Mr. Tinsley continues to show a lack of understanding of the obligation to not exploit an employee for sexual gratification. We will continue to move forward with our claims, and look forward to our day in court.”
Tinsley is best known for his affiliation with Dave Matthews Band, which he joined in 1992. In February, he issued a statement saying, “I need to take a break from the band & touring 2 focus on my family & my health 4 a while. I will miss you guys & my brothers in the band but I’m somewhat worn out & need 2 spend more time with my family & 2 bring more balance to my life.”
When reached for comment following Frost-Winn’s lawsuit, a rep for Dave Matthews Band told Rolling Stone, “Though Boyd is no longer a member of the band, we are shocked by these disturbing allegations and we were not previously aware of them.”
Frost-Winn is seeking $9 million in damages from Tinsley. Frost-Winn’s attorney, Jason Hatch, told Rolling Stone, “We are hopeful that the defendant acknowledges responsibility, seeks to take advantage of the resources available to him that might allow him to break out of his pattern behavior and makes some reasonable amends for his actions.”