Shedding new light. Graham Sierota’s family released a heartfelt statement on Friday, August 2, amid the controversy surrounding the Echosmith drummer for direct messaging Travis Barker’s 13-year-old daughter, Alabama Barker. Graham’s loved ones revealed that he was diagnosed with autism at a young age and “certainly never meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable.”

“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,” the entire family including Sydney, Noah, Graham, Linda and Jeffery Sierota, told The Blast.

“As a child, Graham was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” they continued, noting how Graham, 20, “has difficulty understanding social cues.” His family also addressed how “Graham’s challenges have always been a non-issue in our family,” mentioning how he inspires them daily.

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Travis, 43, recently slammed the Echosmith drummer for reaching out to his daughter on Instagram, calling the behavior “predatory” in his new interview with the site on July 31. As we previously reported, Graham sent Alabama a few direct messages back in 2016. One read, “hi,” and when she didn’t reply, he later wrote, “By the way, I’m Graham from Echosmith, and I think you’re beautiful.” Alabama appeared to not have responded to any of the messages.

Graham allegedly slid back into Alabama’s DMs again in July 2019 when he sent her an invite to a BBQ at his house. His family revealed that Graham has sent out invites to a party before, recalling a Christmas event where he did the same thing. “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,” they revealed in the statement.

“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,” his loved ones continued.

“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.” Graham also issued a public apology of his own on August 1.

Alabama has since accepted Graham’s apology and said that she would “like for this all to be over.”

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