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Hoodie Allen Accused of “Grooming,” Removes Band Member After Allegations

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Hoodie Allen Accused of “Grooming,” Removes Band Member After Allegations

CONTENT WARNING: The following article references allegations of sexual misconduct involving Hoodie Allen. If you or someone you know is having a hard time, resources are always available to you at thehotline.org or at 1-800-799-7233. Some parties involved in this story have asked to go by just their first name.

Independent rapper, singer, and songwriter Hoodie Allen is under fire following allegations of sexual misconduct against him and his drummer, Jimmy Kadesch.

Sarah Flores, a former friend and fan, accused Hoodie Allen, whose real name is Steven Markowitz, of grooming and carrying sexually inappropriate conversations with her while she was a minor. She also came forward about physical interaction with Kadesch, who has been a crew member since at least 2011, and an unidentified “former manager” of Markowitz in tweets that she shared on Saturday.

“I still can’t believe I confronted someone who groomed me and was sexually inappropriate with me as a child and he had the audacity to say he ‘never looked at me in that way,’ ‘never pursued me,’ and his crew/band members don’t ‘have a culture of that,'” she wrote.

In another thread about the situation, Flores replied and said her “second kiss ever” was with Markowitz’s former manager and that her third was right after, with Kadesch. She was 15 and says that Kadesch was in his twenties at the time.

In her original thread, Flores shared screenshots. Some were of a conversation with a friend, where she recalled Markowitz sending her a Snapchat message with the caption “lemme see that thong.” Another screenshot is a text that appears to be from Markowitz in response to her allegations, which she first shared with him privately. Her original tweet contains excerpts of this text.

“I hope you know at that time that I never looked at you in that way and never pursued you,” the text reads, “but if there was ever a time that you felt taken advantage of by someone in my crew, I can assure you that I will hold them accountable. There’s isn’t a culture of that in my crew and it makes me really sick to think someone who I consider a friend was ever put in a dynamically unbalanced and unfair position.”

Texting fans was, and is, very common for Markowitz. As an independent artist, he relies on his “Mob,” which is what he calls his fans, to get the word out, help with promotions, and recruit new fans. Many fans, not just female, say they have had pleasant experiences with him via text, Twitter, and Instagram DMs.

Taylor Flinn became close with the Hoodie Allen crew when she was 17. She also took to Twitter to share the encounters she had with a crew member beginning in 2018, who she later identified as Kadesch. She says that he frequently kissed her on the cheek and hugged her “basically the entire time” before shows. Kadesch, who is now 31, would have been 28 at the time these events occurred.

“I got asked by a certain crew member to come to Boston and stay with him, got called hot when I posted a insta (sic) story in a bikini, and got a lot of other disgusting things AT THE AGE OF 17. All this time I thought it was my fault that I was being basically preyed on,” she wrote.

As other accusations surfaced, more fans took part in the conversation with stories including names, titles, and detailed descriptions.

Hannah, who is 22, says she had looked up to Markowitz since she was 15. The two began messaging in 2016, but their relationship didn’t bloom until October of last year. She says she video called with him several times, including one time that they spoke alone. Their conversations were never sexual or flirty. “Looking back now,” she said, “it’s so creepy that he would be on Zoom with majority females if not all females.”

Hannah also shared a screenshot of an Instagram DM conversation with Kadesch. The screenshot shows him asking if she was going to hang out at a bar after a show in Toronto. She said that she was at the bar for no longer than three minutes, fearing that staying any longer would lead to an uncomfortable situation between her and the drummer. By the time the band had crossed the country’s border, she says that he had unfollowed her on Instagram. Hannah met up with the band again in New York and said that Kadesch’s demeanor had changed and that he was no longer friendly toward her.

Hannah has since gone private on Twitter, but the tweet mentioned above had the following photo with the caption, “at the time this felt exciting. looking back? shoulda known. thank god i was at the bar for less than 3 minutes.”

Addressing the Allegations

More than 24 hours after the first tweet was posted, Markowitz shared one of his own. He announced the removal of a current member of his band, which many fans understand to be Kadesch.

“I’ve been made aware of disturbing behavior that a current member of my band and past touring crew have engaged in,” the tweet read, “As of today, that bend member is no longer a part of the Hoodie Allen touring crew and those past touring members will never tour with me again.”

The tweet is followed by eight others, in which he denies the allegations about his own behavior, calling the claims “wildly disgusting.”

At the time of publication, Kadesch had not made a public statement and has since deleted his Twitter. Before deleting the account, he had made it private, where he responded to a user asking him to make a statement.

“Believe me I will respond, my rapper boss [Hoodie Allen] wanted to say something before anyone else I guess. I have a v detailed response. I’m sorry for this. I’m sorry to see the mob and fans go through this. I really like and respect you, and i really think this fucking convo NEEDS to be had.”

The response, which is no longer available, is pictured below:

The Backlash

Many fans were let down by his flat out denial of accusations against him.  Another friend of Markowitz, B, is among those that were hoping for more. B felt compelled to add to the story and explain her relationship with the rapper that picked up when she was just 17. B is now 23.

“my story is really similar to sarah’s in that i was a teenager when i first started interacting with h. i was told that we could “only be friends” until i was 18 but inappropriate comments were always made anyways,” she wrote, “he would send me flirty messages, ask for pics and other things that I overlooked bc I loved having his attention. for me, it was feeling so special. it went on for 6+ years. even when he was dating someone it didn’t matter.”

“He did not take any responsibility for his actions,” she said. “He put the blame on his drummer [Kadesch] when the allegations/stories were about him too. The initial one was about Hoodie in the first place. I’m angry that after all that his fans/friends have done for him, that he didn’t have the decency to say ‘I messed up.'”

Jamie* was on a first name basis with Markowitz and has known him for around four years. She says she views her friendship with him as a great thing and their interactions were nothing but pleasant. As for his apology, she doesn’t buy it. She says that the allegations and his response to them have left her disappointed.

“I see the thread he made as half-assed, she said. “It’s not an apology. It seems like he’s refusing to directly apologize, and he’s just throwing his crew members (mostly Jimmy) under the bus. Instead of recognizing his faults and admitting to being wrong, he’s trying to direct the anger towards someone else instead of taking responsibility and accountability for his part in it all.”

One fan turned her disappointment into a TikTok, borrowing a sound from Mean Girls as she tore down her Hoodie Allen merch and put Markowitz in her own “burn book.”

A Dynamic of Control

In her thread, B made note of times that Markowitz would “get mad” at her for interacting with other fans. She says that their relationship was different and that he didn’t want other fans to know that. “he always said ‘you’re not a fan you’re my friend’ and he used that to keep the control,” she said. Because of this, B says she never considered herself a typical fan.

Being a “friend,” though, came with a different set of expectations. B says that she didn’t feel like she was allowed to post photos with other men. “If I posted a pic on Snapchat, I would get scolded,” she said, “If you ever spoke out against him or disagreed with him, he would manipulate you by him becoming ‘mad at you’ and just making you feel insignificant.”

Jamie* echoed this sentiment, saying that he frequently made his close friends feel pressured to agree with him. “Nobody ever wanted to upset him in fear of how he would react. I think that’s just because everyone just kinda knows the kind of power and control he holds/claims to hold,” she said.

Fans and friends say that these feelings affect the celebrities they admired and artists they listened to. Some said that they felt like they weren’t allowed to listen to artists like KYLE and Blackbear, who had existing conflicts with the rapper. Since these allegations have come out, many fans have stated their intent to openly listen to those artists once again now that Hoodie Allen is no longer on their playlists.

 

At the time of publication, downinthepit did not hear back from Markowitz or Kadesch.

* Not her real name.

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Ryan J
Ryan J , Executive Producer
Portland, OR He/Him

Ryan is a multi-hyphenate digital creative/creator and the founder of downinthepit. You can reach him at [email protected] #catchyouinthepit

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