“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,” he told The Blast on Wednesday, July 31. “That’s predatory behavior, and there is nothing cool, normal or OK about it at all.”
Apparently, this isn’t the first time Graham has reached out to Alabama, either. In 2016 — when she was just 10 years old — he wrote multiple messages that just said “Hi.” He added, “By the way, I’m Graham from Echosmith, and I think you’re beautiful.” However, Alabama appeared not to have responded to any of the messages.
Then, Graham allegedly slid back into Alabama’s DMs again earlier this month when he sent her an invite to a barbecue at his house. She reportedly wrote back, “You’re like 40,” to which he replied, “I just wanted to say I really like your music and sorry for messaging, and I’m 20 [years old].” But the aspiring musician wasn’t having it. “OK, but you understand I’m a child?” she quipped.
Alabama wanted to make it known to her followers that this type of behavior is unacceptable. “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,” she captioned the alleged screenshots.
Ultimately, Graham apologized for his actions. “I had invited Alabama to my parents’ big family barbecue along with many other people, and it wasn’t until she responded that I realized her age, at which point I apologized to her,” he told The Daily Beast in a statement. “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.”
Update: Alabama Barker has since released a statement: “Hey, guys! I am posting on behalf of the drummer of Echosmith,” she wrote on her Instagram Story on Friday, August 2. “He had dm’d me a while back in 2016 and then once again in July saying I was beautiful and invited me to a BBQ at his house. He is very sorry about the situation and is regretful. I forgive him and would like for this to all be over.”
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