ELMHURST – The Orwells, a rock band composed of five Elmhurst natives, has broken up following allegations of sexual misconduct.
The band members – Matt O'Keefe, cousins Dominic Corso and Mario Cuomo, and the Brinner twins, Grant and Henry – got their start while they were students at York Community High School in 2009 and soon gained gigs on tours around the United States, Australia and the U.K.
The band's breakup was announced at 3:07 p.m. Aug. 29 on its Facebook page.
The announcement followed allegations of sexual abuse on social media including Reddit, Facebook and Twitter naming lead singer Cuomo and the Brinner twins.
The Orwells released a statement Aug. 28 in which they denied the allegations, according to media reports.
"It’s come to our attention that certain allegations of abuse have been made against one or more of us on social media and in social circles of Chicago. We’d like to first state that sexual abuse in any form is abhorrent. We do not take these accusations lightly and consider this matter incredibly serious. We emphatically deny these baseless allegations brought as a personal attack against us," the statement read. "While callow altercations and vulgar language we’ve used in the past must be recognized and owned up to, the accusations of sexual assault are completely unfounded. No member of this band has ever acted without consent or maliciously taken advantage of anyone. We encourage anyone who’s been affected by sexual abuse to speak up and make their abusers known; however we also encourage everyone to be cautious of the things they read and say on the Internet. No victim of abuse should be hesitant to make their voice heard and if someone does feel that we’ve hurt them, we encourage them to contact us properly and privately (not via social media or anonymously), as to respect their identity."
The Orwells' U.S. publicist Jacob Daneman and manager Larry Little did not respond to a request for comment and clarification.
The Orwells tweeted Aug. 27 the band would cancel its Chicago show that was scheduled for Nov. 23 at the Metro music venue and refund ticket buyers.
Metro tweeted a statement against violence Aug. 27.
"Metro does not tolerate acts of violence, victimization, or predation. We always encourage our patrons to voice their concerns and want you to know that we not only hear you – we support any effort that makes our local music scene safer and more equitable," the tweet read.
The Orwells performed on David Letterman's "Late Show" in January and June 2014 and released three music albums.