Travis Barker is "disgusted" after learning that 20-year-old Echosmith drummer Graham Sierota repeatedly messaged his 13-year-old daughter Alabama Barker on Instagram. The adult musician apologized for his behavior and claimed that he wasn't aware of Alabama's age when he sent the messages.
Alabama shared screenshots of the messages earlier this week on Instagram and publicly called out Graham for making advances towards her. "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.
"By the way I’m Graham from echosmith and I think ur beautiful," one message from 2016 read. At the time, Alabama was just 10 years old.
Graham sent another message on July 12 and appeared to invite Alabama to a BBQ he was throwing. "Ur like 40," Alabama responded. "I just wanted to say i really like ur music and sorry for messaging and I’m 20," Graham replied. "Ok but u understand I’m a child?" Alabama noted.
The Blink 182 drummer, 43, expressed his outrage at Graham's behavior in a statement to The Blast.
"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. That’s predatory behavior and there is nothing cool, normal or ok about it at all," Travis said.
Graham issued an apology on Thursday, August 1. "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. I’m really sorry and feel very badly about this," Graham said in a statement to People.
"I didn’t realize she was a minor and assumed she was my age," he continued. "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 Graham's apology. "Hey guys! I am posting on behalf of the drummer of Echosmith! He had DM'd 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," she wrote on Instagram.
Graham's family issued a statement and revealed that he has autism. "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," they wrote.