Setting the record straight. Graham Sierota‘s family is coming to his defense after he was slammed for sending messages to Travis Barker‘s 13-year-old daughter.
“Graham was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” the Echosmith drummer’s family said in a statement to the New York Post‘s Page Six on Friday, August 2. “He has difficulty understanding social cues.”
His family continued: “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 20-year-old was slammed by the Blink-182 musician’s daughter, Alabama, who posted screenshots of him allegedly messaging her from as far back as 2016 when she was just 10 years old.
“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 wrote on Thursday, August 1.
The screenshots showed Sierota calling her “beautiful” and inviting her to a barbecue party.
Barker, 43, responded to the messages at the time. “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,” the rock star told The Blast. “That’s predatory behavior and there is nothing cool, normal or OK about it at all.”
Sierota apologized for his behavior on Friday. “I’m really sorry and feel very badly about this,” he told Page Six. “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.”
Alabama accepted his apology on her Instagram Stories the same day. “Hey guys! I am posting on behalf of the drummer of Echosmith!” she wrote. “He had dmed [sic] 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 regretful I forgive him and would like for this all to be over.”