Musicians offer different accounts of backstage incident at Eddie’s Attic; police won’t commentPhoto by Dean Hesse.
UPDATE: Decatur Police have released the initial incident report, but are still investigating. Click here to see our most recent story about this incident.
Decatur, GA — A musician’s Facebook post accusing another musician of assaulting her on June 19 received widespread attention over the weekend.
She also accused the musician of using homophobic slurs against her.
But the person she’s accusing says he was only acting in self-defense and did not use slurs during the incident. Decatur Police appear to be investigating the incident, but won’t comment on it and haven’t yet released the incident report. Attempts to reach both musicians for comment have been unsuccessful. Eddie’s Attic, the venue where the incident occurred, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Soul singer Kristy Lee and country music songwriter Heath Sanders both played gigs at Eddie’s Attic on June 19. Lee said in her Facebook post that she was attacked by Sanders and possibly another person in the venue’s greenroom.
“Last night after my show at Eddie’s Attic I was physically assaulted in the greenroom by an artist named Heath Sanders,” she wrote. “He not only physically assaulted me, he used multiple homophobic slurs against me.”
Lee said she was “hit multiple times in the side and back of the head, as well as choked.”
There were only three people in the room, she said, but she did file a police report. Police did not make an arrest however, which she said was because “it was their word against mine, even though I had some physical markings.”
“I’m not sure what the next step is, but it does not end here,” she wrote. “I have seen this breed of hate before, but never this close up, and never in a place I consider safe.”
Lee’s post was shared more than 200 times, including in Facebook groups in Decatur. Sanders on Monday evening, June 21, responded Lee, calling her the “aggressor” in the situation and saying he only acted in self-defense.
“Another performer made accusations and the police came to investigate,” he wrote. “The type of physical contact she described on social media did not occur, and no charges were filed against me. While the situation did escalate, I wasn’t put in cuffs because she was the aggressor. I reacted with nothing more than defending and removing myself from the situation as she pushed then tried to spit at me, and bite me. I did not use any type of derogatory slur towards the other artist.”
He added that, “I pride myself in being a peaceful man.”
“I maintain that through morals and values that have been instilled in me since the day I was born,” he said. “I believe that next to abusing a child, a man laying his hands on a woman is the most heinous act he can commit. I’ve never tolerated nor have I participated in that type of behavior. However, I do believe that everyone has the right to protect and remove themselves from harm when given no other choice, which was what I did. We will meet this head on with the help of witnesses and the Decatur police department.”
The accusation that began on social media also played out on social media for most of the day Monday.
Sanders restricted commenting on his Facebook posts and Lee also became the target of online abuse by people defending him, according to screenshots posted on her page.
Decatur Police told Decaturish to file an open records request for the police report and declined to comment about the incident. We will provide an update when police release the report.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled a name. This story has been updated with the correct information.
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