Eddie Hermida (Suicide Silence, All Shall Perish) Responds to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
The metal community was shocked this week when a young woman, Verena Celis, alleged that Suicide Silence/All Shall Perish vocalist Eddie Hermida “emotionally and sexually manipulated” her in 2015 and 2016, when he was 32-years-old and she was just seventeen.
Hermida has now released the following statement in response to Celis’ accusations:
“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”
Here are my thoughts on Hermida’s statement. They are my thoughts alone.
The comparison may seem weird, but the statement struck me very much the way Louis C.K.’s statement about his inexcusable behavior did: it is about as strong of a statement as anyone could hope to make given the circumstances. Hermida does not deny his guilt. He very explicitly instructs his fans not to harass Celis. And he explains how he justified his actions in his own mind, but does not make excuses for those actions.
Of course, as I said, the statement is a good response to a horrible occurrence. I’m still struggling with it. If Hermida is guilty, does anything else matter? But doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance? Who amongst us has never done anything we deeply regret? But c’mon, it’s not like he made an inappropriate joke — Celis says she was so distraught over her relationship with Hermida that she tried to take her own life. And what the hell was he doing in this relationship with a minor in the first place? Is there ANYTHING defensible about what he did? No, but he says as much in the statement! But do we even know if the statement is sincere? Since actions speak louder than words, how can we know if the statement was sincere until some time has passed and we see how Hermida behaves moving forward?
I don’t have answers. I don’t know that there are any in a situation like this, other than the obvious one, which is that this is all avoidable if you just don’t do heinous shit in the first place.
But I think it’s worth wrestling with and discussing. I hope we all continue to do just that.