Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes has publicly apologised for comments he made suggesting some Bataclan theatre security guards might have known in advance about the Paris venue being attacked last year.
The band were on stage at the Paris theatre on Friday 13th November when four Islamist militants shot and killed 90 fans.
Hughes took to Facebook to make the apology. He said we was sorry for the comments, calling them “absurd accusations”.
Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, the singer said he had learned that some guards did not come to work that night. Hughes then suggested that “it seems rather obvious that they had a reason not to show up.”
The owners of the Bataclan were quick answer back, denouncing Hughes’ statements as “grave and defamatory accusations”.
With a judicial investigation currently under way, the owners stated “we wish to let justice proceed serenely”.
“All the testimonies gathered to this day demonstrate the professionalism and courage of the security agents who were on the ground on November 13. Hundreds of people were saved thanks to (these agents’) intervention,” they added.
Hughes seem to have a change of heart later in the week and responded by withdrawing his comments.
“I humbly beg forgiveness from the people of France, the staff and security of the Bataclan, my fans, my family, friends and anyone else hurt or offended by the absurd accusations I made in my Fox Business Channel interview.”
Labelling his own comments as “unfounded and baseless” he cited his ongoing struggle to deal with the trauma of the massacre as a contributing factor. ‘I haven’t been myself’ he said.
“I’ve been dealing with non-stop nightmares and struggling through therapy to make sense of this tragedy and insanity,” he added.
“I haven’t been myself since November 13. I realise there’s no excuse for my words, but for what it’s worth: I am sincerely sorry for having hurt, disrespected or accused anyone.”
Eagles of Death Metal returned to Paris three months later to finish the show, with the Bataclan survivors all invited to attend, amid tight security.
Currently on tour and set to arrive in Australia shortly as a part of Bluesfest 2016, industry figures such as Bluesfest Boss Peter Noble have called on music fans to support the band and their decision to keep touring in the wake of the tragedy.
Read Jesse Hughes’ full statement, below.
— EaglesOfDeathMetal (@EODMofficial) March 12, 2016