Otep Exit Civil Unrest Tour Amidst Accusation That Singer of Opening Act Grabbed Her Crotch
Update: Terror Universal have been removed from the 'Civil Unrest' tour. Details below.
Otep will not be part of the upcoming 'Civil Unrest' tour this spring, as the band has dropped off the bill due to the inclusion of one of the supporting acts in the lineup. According to a post from vocalist Otep Shamaya, she claims she does not want to be on the bill due to support act Terror Universal as there was an incident on a prior tour in which the vocalist of the band allegedly "violently grabbed my crotch."
However, Shamaya's accusations have not only been called into question by Terror Universal, but also the tour's organizers, who feel that she has other motivations at work in making the statements.
Otep started the ball rolling with a post on Facebook trying to get ahead of the reasons for the band's exit from the trek. It reads as follows:
Before the rumor mill begins: We dropped off the Civil Unrest tour because Terror Universals molester singer violently grabbed my crotch on our last tour. He’s a drunken joke and a f---ing scumbag. He’s lucky security handled it before I or my band could.
We gave them a shot to play in front of our fans and we were repaid by this drunken jackass violating me during the meet and greet in front of our fans.
We made it very clear that we will never play any show that has Terror Universal on it. We don’t tolerate any kind of passive sexual violence.
We owe that to our fans and I never want to experience anything like that again especially from an opening act we were trying to help by giving them exposure to our TRIBE.
We will be headlining in May-June and give the TRIBE a proper RIOT without any pants rapists on the bill. Onwards & upwards.
As expected, Terror Universal weighed in on the subject matter, but their statement came from a surprising source -- Jenny Armstrong, the wife of Chad Armstrong (aka ROTT), the vocalist being accused by Shamaya. Armstrong's posting can be read below:
By now many of you have heard or read Otep Shamaya's slanderous statement against my husband of 9 years Chad, aka ROTT singer of TERROR UNIVERSAL. Please be aware that Chad and I have 2 children, a little boy, as well as a little girl.
OTEP’s accusations are inflammatory, and untrue to say the least, let me explain…. While TERROR UNIVERSAL was supporting OTEP on the February West Coast dates, Rott was on his way out of the club, and as Rott walked by he tapped Otep on the leg and said “Good night Otep”, this is when she jumped back, and said he grabbed her crotch, and ordered to have him thrown out of the club.
Why didn’t OTEP say anything about this before?? Why wait 4 weeks, to disclose such a damaging action? How has this turned into talk of assault and sexual violence? For the past 9 years, I have seen my husband time after time treat me and his children with nothing but respect, and show nothing but kindness to everyone he encounters.
And here is the really ironic part of all of this...I was raped many years ago, before I knew Rott. It was his unconditional love and respect that pulled me through all of the mental and emotional distress, that this created for me. It seems so unreal that we are now in the position of defending a man who has always stood up for the right thing and would NEVER bring harm to a woman.
I also just have to point out that it is so disheartening to see the comments that people are posting. The threats from the Otep tribe are violent and downright scary. Especially if they were directed at your husband, or the father of your children.
This was honestly meant as a friendly gesture (a tap on the leg) at the end of a show between two band members has escalated into horrible name calling and threats. The truth is 2 days after the West Coast tour ended, Chad reached out to Otep and Otep's brother, to both clear the air, and open lines of communication. There has been no willingness from anyone in the Otep camp to have a civil conversation about this incident.
It is a shame that this could not have been handled between the two individuals, in a friendly manner. True to form, the social media will further complicate this issue and create hate, and will cloud the fact that all this could have been dealt with professionalism, and compassion.
And finally, the organizers of the 'Civil Unrest' tour issued their own statement. In it, they suggest that Otep is not telling the truth and that the accusation is part of a contractual ploy. Read their statement below.
Addressing OTEP's recent slander:
OTEP is not telling the truth.
The Civil Unrest Tour and its affiliates do not support the violation of another individuals personal space, rape, violence against women or any person for that matter.
Many of us have families and children. We would never stand for or beside the kind of behavior that Otep is falsely accusing others of perpetrating.
What we do support is the TRUTH.
The truth is that OTEP's business team confirmed OTEP for this tour for certain financial terms and OTEP's team breached their own agreement after announcement and attempted to blackmail and extort the agency responsible for the tour with slanderous defamation threats against the agency , the bands and all parties involved, in an attempt to secure more money...
It truly is a sad state of affairs in the music industry and the world where blatant slander about a very serious accusation becomes business practice for an artist now known as notorious for canceling tours in the 11th hour.
Stay tuned for more updates as Civil Unrest moves forward beyond this disgusting abuse of social media and public trust.
Update (8:40 PM ET): 'Civil Unrest' tour mates Ill Nino have released the following statement, announcing the removal of Terror Universal from future shows:
ILL NINO does not condone any forced act of violence or sexual nature towards any human beings, nor will we tolerate violations of one's personal space. This also goes for cyber-bullying, or making demeaning comments towards ANYONE on social media. We strongly support equality for all.
We would like to draw closure by stating that the CIVIL UNREST TOUR will continue without participation from either OTEP or TERROR UNIVERSAL. We're looking forward to hitting the road, reuniting with our fans and friends, and also sharing the stage with our tour brothers, and sisters, KITTIE & 36 CRAZYFISTS. Stay tuned, more bands to be added!!
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