UPDATE: The woman who apparently accused 5 Seconds of Summer guitarist Michael Clifford of sexual misconduct said she has learned it was a different, now-deceased man who assaulted her and has apologized to him in a series of social-media messages. “Today I found out that my offender is dead. My offender IS NOT MICHAEL CLIFFORD,” she wrote. “HE NEVER TOUCHED ME. HE NEVER SAID THOSE THINGS TO ME. He’s innocent. … I’m sorry, Michael, I’m completely sorry for being wrong about you and the damage I may [have] caused.” Read her full posts below.
The accusations were originally made early on Monday from a since-deleted Twitter account. Clifford — who on Sunday had apologized for resurfaced 2012 Tweets that many considered sexist — quickly responded, saying that they were “BEYOND untrue.”
A poster using the handle @knowyoureta claimed that Clifford, now 24, “used to invite underaged girls to his hotel room/tour bus after shows” in 2014 while the group was supporting One Direction on tour, according to NME. The tweets said that Clifford allegedly invited an underaged fan to his hotel room after a show on one occasiona and “started touching her inappropriately.” The posts concluded by stating that the girl “tried to speak up” but “no one believed her.” NME reported that more accusations were made from another account that was later deleted.
“i am heartbroken to read these things that are being said – they are just BEYOND untrue,” Clifford responded, noting that “i was never allowed in the crowd i only ever watched at front of house – and i would’ve never EVER done that. i would NEVER do anything like that.”
holy shit. i am heartbroken to read these things that are being said – they are just BEYOND untrue. i was never allowed in the crowd i only ever watched at front of house – and i would've never EVER done that. i wouldf NEVER do anything like that. i'm so fucking upset
— michael clifford (@Michael5SOS) June 15, 2020
Another fan posted a video of the band surrounded by fans, to which he responded, “This is what life was like in 2013. Please understand it would’ve been logistically impossible for me to get through a crowd at a show i just played at! im not trying to be defensive i promise this is just so completely false.”
The group’s Adam Wilkinson supported Clifford’s claims. “All accusations of this kind should be taken seriously if the information can be cross referenced and substantiated,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “That’s not the case here and I can confirm at all times I was with the band, they were escorted to front of house from backstage at all times, often by multiple body guards and crew. There is simply no possibility of this accusation to have occurred.”
On Sunday, Clifford apologized for tweets he’d sent in 2012 that were recently resurfaced, including a joke about women belonging in the kitchen, and another that used homophobic language.
“I am so f—ing sorry for all the dumb sh– I did when I was younger,” he wrote. “I am a different person now with a much better understanding of the world. some people have access to a digital megaphone a bit earlier than they should, unfortunately, I was one of them.
hi. I am so fucking sorry for all the dumb shit I did when I was younger. I am a different person now with a much better understanding of the world. some people have access to a digital megaphone a bit earlier than they should, unfortunately, I was one of them.
— michael clifford (@Michael5SOS) June 14, 2020
“I am so sorry for hurting anyone,” he continued. “it was never my intention. I was so naive and I am embarrassed and I am beyond sorry. I will continue to be better and I will continue to change. I never want to hurt anyone again.”
Clifford has sent out a series of tweets in recent days supporting Black Lives Matter protests.