Echosmith drummer Graham Sierota has issued an apology to Travis Barker, claiming he didn’t know his daughter Alabama was 13 when he sent her party invites and complimented her looks.
UPDATE (Aug. 2 7:15pm ET): After Graham apologized, his family also revealed the following statement:
We have never publicly addressed this in the past, but given the events of the last few days, we feel compelled to speak out now to offer some additional context and insight into the unfortunate misunderstandings that occurred and clear up the deeply hurtful mischaracterizations of Graham. As a child, Graham was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has difficulty understanding social cues.
Graham’s challenges have always been a non-issue in our family. In fact, it is a truly beautiful and wonderful thing that makes Graham the amazing brother, son and friend that he is. His outlook on life inspires us every day. He’ll be the first one to say “today is gonna be the best day ever,” or, “you’re my best friend and you look amazing today.” He sees the world as the happiest place, where everyone is a potential friend, and he wants everyone to feel included. One very recent Christmas, we hosted a holiday party at our home, and had athletes, musicians, artists, and models show up, and we were very confused until they happily told us “Graham reached out on social media and invited us!” Anyone who has ever met Graham will agree, he is the friendliest and most kind-hearted, welcoming person in the world.
We understand that his interactions were misinterpreted and misunderstood in the confusing world of social media, and we are deeply sorry. Graham certainly never meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable.
As a family, we will continue to work with him to have the right tools and knowledge about social boundaries, and to better navigate and utilize social media while he takes a break from it.
We hope anyone who’s been affected, and in turn felt uncomfortable, can accept our deepest apologies.
ORIGINAL STORY: Graham Sierota is finally speaking out after Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker, 43, called the 20-year-old Echosmith drummer “predatory” for sliding into his 13-year-old daughter Alabama‘s Instagram messages. Earlier this week the teen shared now deleted DM’s where he complimented her looks and invited her to a barbecue, despite Alabama repeatedly telling him she was a minor. “I had invited Alabama to my parents’ big family BBQ along with many other people, and it wasn’t until she responded that I realized her age at which point I apologized to her,” Graham told The Blast on Aug. 1.
He added that “I’m really sorry and feel very badly about this. I didn’t realize she was a minor and assumed she was my age. I made a careless mistake and this is a big lesson for me. I would like to apologize again to Alabama, her dad Travis, and her family.” Earlier in the day Travis told the site, “When I found out a 20-year-old man was trying to get in touch with my 13-year-old daughter by filling her Instagram messages with party invites and compliments I was disgusted. That’s predatory behavior and there is nothing cool, normal or ok about it at all.”
The Blast had published aspiring musician Alabama’s now deleted screenshots of messages from Graham. One dated back to 2016 when he told the then 10-year-old, “By the way I’m Graham from Echosmith and I think ur beautiful.” On July 12 he invited her to the BBQ and she responded, “Ur like 40.” He wrote back, “I just wanted to say i really like ur music and sorry for messaging and I’m 20.” Alabama again reminded him, “Ok but u understand I’m a child?” In another screengrab, Alabama tagged Echosmith and wrote, “Hey guys! So once again I am bringing this to your attention because I’m a 13 year old girl and he is 21/20 super creepy.”