Suicide Silence’s Eddie Hermida Issues Apology After Being Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Suicide Silence vocalist Eddie Hermida has issued an apology after being accused of “emotionally and sexually manipulating” Austrian fan Verena Celis when she was 17. Celis claims Hermida pressured her into sending him nudes after Hermida sent sexually suggestive photos her way.
Celis’ original statement was released via Twitter, but she has now deleted the posts. Here’s her statement in full:
Recently, people have been coming out about band members sexually harassing them and them getting involved with minors. Since everyone that has been in this situation has been very brave and open, I decided to speak up too.
I wrote this all out on my twitter account but my mind was all over the place. This is a better-structured statement. First of all, I mean to do Eddie no harm at all. I just want to speak up about the harm he caused me.
Ever since I was thirteen, I have loved the band Suicide Silence unconditionally. Not soon after, Mitch passed away. Then came Eddie Hermida as a replacement and at first I was hesitant, but he soon grew on me. I saw them for the second time in 2015 at a show in Antwerp. Eddie had been following me on twitter and tweeting me back and forth, so I wrote him a letter. The letter stated Suicide Silence had been my favorite band for years, and I was glad he 'saved' them from splitting. I said how Suicide Silence's music had been there for me on my darkest days due to depression and anxiety. I said the band had saved my life multiple times, which I was extremely thankful for. I do not exaggerate when I say their music and interviews etc. have saved me from committing suicide when I was aged 13-16. After he read this letter, he DMed me on twitter, accusing me of being an attention seeker. I, looking up to him, was deeply upset. We stopped talking.
After a while I saw many 'poorly drawn x band' accounts on twitter and decided I wanted to make one for my favorite band, Suicide Silence, and I did. The account was very well received by the entire band and even big metal magazines, and it made me even closer to them. Especially Eddie. We started talking again because he for some reason knew it was me. We talked more and more and more but he immediately told me he did not want anyone to know about it, that no one could know I was 'privileged' enough to have daily conversations with him. This should have been the first sign but I was blind, ecstatic about starting a friendship with my (then) hero.
As the talking continued, we started DMing on the daily. I was in Greece with my school in Junior year, I was sixteen, to be seventeen. I sent him a picture of me that had headbanged my hair dry to one of the songs of You Can't Stop Me. Then he started complimenting me, no issue there. I loved that the person I looked up to was interested.
Things were the same for quite a while until Dour festival in 2015, right after the school trip to Greece. Keep in mind I was 16. He met me after their concert and took my mother and I to the tour bus to hang out and talk. He told me it was important for him to gain my mother's trust, god knows why. We hung out and hugged and held hands and no big deal. He also asked when my birthday was, because he was aware I was still underage then. But after that day it began to go downhill. I sent him a picture of me wearing the t-shirt he got my mom for her birthday and that's when he said 'he's not a pure soul and he wished I was older.'
A few weeks later he gave me his snapchat and we occasionally snapped each other but nothing really happened, until he for some reason just assumed I turned 18. and I was scared to say I was still only 17. He started flirting and sending suggestive pictures of himself. I was in shock. He toyed with me and manipulated me into sending him nudes, which I was totally against. But hey, if your idol wants nudes, you send them. That's what I thought back then. Totally forgetting he was 32 at the time. After toying with me, he told me he has a girlfriend and they were in an open relationship. I was hurt of course because I thought he was genuinely interested in me. I had already developed feelings for him. He continued to send me nudes, even when I was at school, and I remember being with my grandparents in a restaurant and he sent me unsolicited nudes. I had to leave the table in embarrassment. This went on for a while but suddenly he got all cold because his girlfriend couldn't stand my name. Apparently she hated me even though I have never talked to her.
She was jealous of me. I wish I had screenshots but I think he would have killed me. I could never save anything and that should have been my next warning.
From that moment on he began treating me like shit and we fought every other day. My mom can confirm me crying almost every day because he was being a proper cunt to me over and over again, but I continued to repress those feelings.
By treating me that way, he made me feel unworthy of love, miserable, ugly, fat, unloved and whatnot. His constant changing behavior towards me got me to the point where I wanted to kill myself. He treated me like I meant everything to him one day, and the other I was a pile of shit. His excuse was him being 'human.'
3rd of November 2016, I was finally done with everything. I couldn't take the emotional abuse anymore and hated my self so much I tried to commit suicide. I know, that's very serious but I felt like a constant bother to the person I cared about most. My mom found me and broke down, my best friend drove over to my house and my grandmother came crying to my door. When I woke up, I finally realized I was more than this. I wasn't going to give up my life for a low-life, conceited ass motherfucker. I was done with the abuse. That night I wrote my feelings down and sent it to his old snapchat account, which he did not use anymore, or so I thought. I never meant for him to read it but he did and then started playing the victim. I blamed myself for being a burden to him, but he was a burden to me. All I wanted is to make him happy and to be there for him but he misused my admiration for him.
He said, that if I still wanted to come to their shows that I could but he threatened his manager and band knew to not put me on the guest list (even though I paid for all but one of their shows) and I would not get free merch, nor go backstage. I never got anything for free, except my mom got that one t-shirt for her birthday. I never went backstage except for that one time he told me to meet him somewhere at Dour. I refused to get guest list, always paid for my tickets, merchandise and music just because I wanted to support my favorite band. I only asked for guest list for the last time I saw them because my parents were banning me from going after my attempt, which I completely understand. I still went. I purchased a ticket. My parents (after a while) even told me to go, to show him who the fuck I actually am. Eddie said a few weeks in advance that he would treat me like another fan but he avoided my side of the stage. He came looking through the curtains to see if I was there. I was front row with my sister and best friends surrounding me, to show him I was there for the band, not him. And it was great.
The next day, I won tickets to go see them in The Netherlands and I gained all my confidence and went again with my best friend, Matthias. Eddie did the opposite of the day before; he stood on my side of the stage the entire time but never once looked me in the eye. When the show was over he gave everyone on my side high fives but when he saw me, he left the stage. After their set, I had a major anxiety attack. I messaged Dan from the band and he came outside and comforted me and got me back on my feet. We talked a bit and I explained the situation. To this day I am still eternally grateful to have Dan in my life.
That was the last time I saw them and the last time Eddie and I had contact. I'm grateful I don't speak to him anymore. I'm grateful he drove me over the edge; it made me realize what a shithead he actually is. I came out of this situation stronger than before.
Sure, he made me feel worthless and like I never meant anything to him, but I know he was just afraid for some reason. This statement is not about bashing the band in its entirety, because I still love the others as much as 6 years ago. I still support them. Just not Eddie anymore.
Please, if you are underage and a band member is hitting on you, speak up. You're not alone. I promise.
To all of the girls who are speaking up: you're so, so brave for getting through this and speaking up about the issues that are in this scene.
Don't blame yourself, you were underage and being emotionally and sexually manipulated. You didn't know better than to go on your knees for your idol, as did I.
Celis says she deleted her statement due to “victim blaming” online. She shared one alleged incident of the negative attention she had been receiving on Nov. 16:
A few days after Celis shared her story publicly, Hermida issued an apology via Suicide Silence’s Facebook page, claiming sexual communication only took place after Celis said she had turned 18:
I apologize, first and foremost, to Verena, that she feels hurt, manipulated, and otherwise distressed by any of our past communication. I want to apologize to the people who support my work as a musician (both the fans and behind the scenes) for the discomfort, distrust, and damage these allegations have caused.
Most importantly, I would ask the music community to abstain from ridiculing, ostracizing, or otherwise harassing this young woman. It’s difficult enough for women to come forward with allegations about the behavior of men under any circumstances.
When Verena told me she’d turned 18, I believed her. I made it clear that our conversations should not be of a sexual nature until that time. However I have learned the lesson, the hard way, that it was wrong to engage in any kind of intimate conversations with someone so much younger than me.
I was raised by a single mom who taught me to be respectful to all women. I am ashamed that I have failed. I hope to earn the respect and approval of our fans and to prove that I am not the person this would seem to suggest.
Now more than ever, the responsibility falls on men to be mindful of our words and actions with people, and to listen to the voices of those who come forward, with respect and dignity.
I am here and I am listening.
- Eddie Hermida
Celis responded to Hermida’s apology earlier this morning (Nov. 17), denying she ever lied about her age to Hermida: