5 Seconds Of Summer guitarist Michael Clifford has taken to social media to vehemently deny sexual assault allegations that have recently surfaced on Twitter.
At least one of the accusations, made by a Twitter user named Sophie, has now been retracted as a result of mistaken identity.
“Today, I found out that I’ve been wrong for almost seven years. Today I found out that my offender is dead. My offender IS NOT MICHAEL CLIFFORD. HE NEVER TOUCHED ME, HE NEVER SAID THOSE THINGS TO ME. He’s innocent,” the now-deleted twitter thread began, according to Daily Mail.
“I know there’s literally nothing I can do to change what I said yesterday and I wish, with my whole heart, there was a way to erase everything. All I can do is say that I’m completely sorry, surprised and heartbroken. I have to start a path of healing from zero, agin. But that’s not important here: All I wanna say is I’m sorry Michael. I’m completely sorry for being wrong about you and that there was a way to erase everything. All I can do is say that I’m completely sorry, surprised and heartbroken. I have to start a path of healing from zero, again. But that’s not important here: All I wanna say is I’m sorry, Michael. I’m completely sorry for being wrong about you and the damage I may caused. I don’t know you and I know you probably hate me but everyone please try to understand my situation. Thank you to everyone who stood with me and helped me find the truth. I can’t give more details of my case for obvious reasons but let me say it again: MICHAEL CLIFFORD NEVER, NEVER TOUCHED ME.”
Clifford took to Twitter to clear his name earlier on Monday morning after rumours circulated online.
holy shit. i am heartbroken to read these things that are being said – they are just BEYOND untrue. i was never allowed in the crowd i only ever watched at front of house – and i would've never EVER done that. i wouldf NEVER do anything like that. i'm so fucking upset— michael clifford (@Michael5SOS) June 15, 2020
Multiple accusations claimed Clifford sexually assaulted underage fans in 2013 and 2014, including while on tour with One Direction.
“The exact same situation, except that I was wearing a mini skirt and he slid his hand under it so I froze and I didn’t know what to do. I was 14. FOURTEEN. and that f***ing situation keeps happening in my head over and over everyday,” a now-deleted tweet accused, according to The Independent.
“I bet he doesn’t even remember because to him [he] was playing but to me it was and still feels traumatic. I swear it’s true.”
The accusations, using the hashtag #michaelcliffordisoverparty, prompted similar claims to be made against other members of the band. A number of second-hand accounts of sexual misconduct on Clifford’s behalf circulated Twitter, but it is unclear if any alleged victims have contacted police.
In addition to his initial denial of the accusations, Michael also replied to two fans individually further explaining the situation and why he couldn’t further prove his innocence.
this is what life was like in 2013 – please understand it wouldve been logistically impossible for me to get through a crowd at a show i just played at! im not trying to be defensive i promise this is just so completely falsehttps://t.co/7BfTBjiZLK— michael clifford (@Michael5SOS) June 15, 2020
The band’s former manager Adam Wilkinson also denied the rumours, making a statement on Facebook earlier today.
The accusations come just days after Clifford apologised for a number of offensive and insensitive tweets he allegedly wrote in 2012, when he was 16.
The alleged tweets, which have now been deleted, reportedly contained sexist and homophobic language. However, Clifford has since apologised for the remarks, claiming he “was so naive” and is “beyond sorry.”
hi. I am so fucking sorry for all the dumb shit I did when I was younger. I am a different person now with a much better understanding of the world. some people have access to a digital megaphone a bit earlier than they should, unfortunately, I was one of them.— michael clifford (@Michael5SOS) June 14, 2020
The band is yet to release a statement on the allegations against Michael Clifford or the other members of the group.
More to come.