The family say they feel compelled to speak about Graham’s diagnosis with Autism Spectrum Disorder to provide additional context.
You can read the entire statement below.
“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.”
~ Sydney, Noah, Graham, Linda and Jeffery
More on Echosmith and Alabama Barker
Yesterday, Sierota responded to allegations of sending Alabama inappropriate messages after she posted a conversation with the 20-year-old drummer via her Instagram Story.
The first messages began in September 2016 with Sierota sending “Hi” and calling Alabama “beautiful.”
However, last month, Sierota sent her a BBQ invite.
Alabama is seen responding saying “you’re like 40”. Sierota then responds and apologizes.
“I just wanted to say i really like ur music and sorry for messaging and I’m 20,” he wrote.
She then says “Ok but u understand I’m a child?” and that is the final message that is visible in the screenshots.
Travis’ son, Landon, posted the screenshots with a message.
“@grahamsierota The drummer of the band @echosmith has been direct messaging my 13 year old sister for the past 2 years he’s is over 21 and inviting her to barbecues and calling her beautiful any one supporting this band should rethink there decisions,” he wrote.
The Blast reportedly received a statement from Travis that he condemned the “predatory behavior”.
“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 reportedly said. “That’s predatory behavior, and there is nothing cool, normal or OK about it at all.”
Following Travis’ statement, Sierota has responded to the allegations in a statement of his own. In it, he says he was unaware of Alabama’s age and apologizes to both her and Travis.
“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,” he said. “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.”