Longtime Dave Matthews Band Violinist Boyd Tinsley Facing Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Long-time violinist for the Dave Matthews Band Boyd Tinsley sued for sexual harassment by former Crystal Garden musician James Frost-Winn.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Long-time violinist for the Dave Matthews Band (DMB) member Boyd Tinsley is now facing a lawsuit for sexual misconduct.
The Charlottesville native says, in a statement, that he will fight what he calls "false accusations." The 82-page lawsuit, which NBC29 has obtained a copy of, was filed in Washington State's King County Superior Court. The allegations first surfaced in online magazine Consequence of Sound on Thursday, May 17.
Tinsley put together and managed the band, Crystal Garden, in 2015, which included trumpet player James Frost-Winn. Tinsley would guest perform with Crystal Garden on stage, including its appearances in Charlottesville in 2016 before Frost-Winn left the band.
In the lawsuit, Frost-Winn accuses Tinsley of building up his trust over many years only to create a "hostile work environment" and inflict emotional damage through his sexual advances, harassment, and long-term grooming. The two first met while Frost-Winn was a street musician and they maintained a friendship.
"It started with what seemed to be more playful banter," said Frost-Winn during a phone interview with NBC29 on Friday, May 18.
Frost-Winn alleges Tinsley assaulted him while he was sleeping following a recording session at Tinsley's home studio in Albemarle County.
"Once the assault occurred, I know that the intentions were that the entire time," says Frost-Winn. "And I did initially believe that he wasn't in his right mind, but after it continued, after the initial assault, it became just as overall big part of his personality."
Frost-Winn alleges Tinsley committed "creepy, sex-based behavior" and includes pictures of text messages Tinsley allegedly sent to him in the complaint. Eventually, he left the band, but says he wasn't emotionally ready to take action against Tinsley.
"I personally was working 60 hours a week to just stay outside of my own head," said Frost-Winn.
After therapy and soul-searching, Frost-Winn says he was ready to move forward. He and his attorneys started the legal process.
Frost-Winn's attorney Jason Hatch spoke with NBC29 as well. He confirmed the legal team reached out to Tinsley in February to settle the matter outside of court, which is approximately the same time Boyd Tinsley announced he would be taking a break from DMB for "health" and "family" reasons. However, Hatch says those negotiations with Tinsley's legal team broke down, prompting the filing of the lawsuit this week. Frost-Winn is seeking damages, back-pay, front-pay, attorney's fees, and other financial relief that the court deems fair. Consequence of Sounds reports he is seeking $9M.
"I feel ready for this fight, because I know I'm on the righteous side of things," said Frost-Winn. "And I am confident in what my truth is and what my story is."
A representative for DMB told TMZ and Rolling Stone that "we are shocked by these disturbing allegations and we were not previously aware of them."
Frost-Winn's attorney Stephanie Henderson said they "are pleased that the matter has been resolved." Henderson said that the terms of the agreement are private between the parties and that she cannot comment further.
NBC29 has reached out to DMB's representatives to confirm that information, as well as Tinsley's status with the band, but we have not yet heard back. Rolling Stone magazine, among other outlets, reports Tinsley is no longer a member of the band rather than just taking a break.
Coincidentally, DMB's 2018 summer tour kicked off Friday night with a show in Texas.
Statement from Boyd Tinsley:
I’m truly hurt by the one-sided account that appeared on a blog about me yesterday. I only wish the reporter had spoken to me first, so they would have heard the truth.
I will defend myself against these false accusations . I can only assume the motivation for the article and the lawsuit filed against me.
These accusations have caused embarrassment for my family, my friends and my fans.
I will fight both in and out of court to repair the damage that has been done.
Disclaimer: Some strong language appears in the full lawsuit below: