IAN WATKINS' LOSTPROPHETS Bandmates: 'We Never Imagined Him Capable' Of Committing These Crimes

IAN WATKINS' LOSTPROPHETS Bandmates: 'We Never Imagined Him Capable' Of Committing These Crimes

LOSTPROPHETS members Lee Gaze (guitar), Mike Lewis (guitar), Stuart Richardson (bass), Jamie Oliver (keyboards) and Luke Johnson (drums) have released the following statement:

"Earlier this week, we learned that the allegations of child sexual abuse against [LOSTPROPHETS singer] Ian [Watkins] were true, and that he would not be contesting them in court. Until then, we found them extremely difficult to believe and had hoped it was all a mistake. Sadly, the true extent of his appalling behaviour is now impossible to deny.

"Many of you understandably want to know if we knew what Ian was doing. To be clear: We did not. We knew that Ian was a difficult character. Our personal relationships with him had deteriorated in recent years to a point that working together was a constant, miserable challenge. But despite his battles with drugs, his egotistic behaviour, and the resulting fractures and frustrations within our band, we never imagined him capable of behaviour of the type he has now admitted.

"We are heartbroken, angry, and disgusted at what has been revealed. This is something that will haunt us for the rest of our lives.

"Being in a band has always been a labour of love and a platform to inspire people, not to take advantage of them.

"It's still hard to believe this is happening and that someone we were once so close to has destroyed so many lives, lying every step of the way.

"Our hearts go out to Ian's family, the fans and friends he betrayed, and most importantly, the victims of his crimes and others like them. We hope for justice, but also that Ian will truly take responsibility for what he's done. We would urge any other victims to contact the authorities."

Although Watkins denied charges that he raped a 11-month-old child, he admitted to two counts of attempted rape. The 36-year-old musician also admitted to sexually assaulting at least one child under the age of 13, aiding and abetting a female unnamed co-defendant to sexually assaulting a child under age 13, and conspiring to rape a child under the age of 13.

LOSTPROPHETS announced in October that they were splitting up, explaining in a statement, "After nearly a year of coming to terms with our heartache, we finally feel ready to announce publicly what we have thought privately for some time. We can no longer continue making or performing music as LOSTPROPHETS. Your love and support over the past 15 years has been tremendous, and we'll be forever grateful for all you've given us. As we look forward to the next phase of our lives, we can only hope to be surrounded by people as devoted and inspiring as you guys have been."

LOSTPROPHETS formed in 1997 and have sold 3.5 million albums in their 16-year career. They scored a No. 1 hit at Modern Rock radio in 2004 with the track "Last Train Home".

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