APA, Cohen/Thomas Management Implicated In Boy Band Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Yet another sexual abuse accusation is rocking the music industry.
Ricky Garcia, who is a former singer in the boy band Forever in Your Mind, is suing not only his former manager but also a top agency and management company.
Garcia claims that repeated sexual abuse effectively derailed his career.
Garcia says that the abuse started when he was only 12 years old and that his manager Joby Harte both raped and sexual assaulted him numerous times during his adolescence. He also says that Harte passed him along to others, such as disgraced former APA agent Tyler Grasham and Nils Larsen, who is a well-known manager and producer. Garcia is accusing both of these men of sexual assault, too.
In the complaint filed by attorney Ben Meiselas, more disturbing allegations have been made. Garcia insists that Harte made his mother an “unwitting accomplice” to the abuse by convincing her to give him unprotected access to Garcia, and that Harte preyed upon the boy and his family’s economic and emotional vulnerabilities.
According to the complaint, Garcia kept quiet about the abuse for years, as he was afraid of how it might have affected his career. In March of last year, though, he told a former assistant of Harte, who subsequently told Garcia’s mother. The complaint also details Harte’s response to the allegations. He insisted that his actions were nothing more than “horseplay.”
In addition to Harte, Larsen, and Grasham, Garcia is suing Harte’s company Hot Rock Media. He is also suiting Cohen/Thomas Management and its two partners (Paul Cohen and Sheri Andersen Thomas) along with APA.
Garcia says that the companies fostered a “sexually abusive culture” and that they failed to prevent abuse that they either knew about or should have known about.
In October of 2017, in the early days of the #MeToo movement, APA fired Grasham in response to both sexual assault and harassment allegations.