Heath Sanders has released a statement after being accused of assaulting a female artist in Georgia, and using homophobic slurs against her.
The artist, Kristy Lee, posted on her Facebook describing what she claims was a physical assault by Sanders after her show at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia, this past Saturday night.
Kristy performed in the 7pm timeslot and Heath followed her for the 9pm show.
Her full statement:
“Last night after my show at Eddie’s Attic I was physically assaulted in the greenroom by an artist named Heath Sanders. He not only physically assaulted me, he used multiple homophobic slurs against me.
His guitar player, Casey Paraday, may or may not have been physically involved (I was blindsided), but he did not stop him either way until a couple minutes had past. I was hit multiple times in the side and back of the head, as well as choked.
It was only the three of us in the room. A police report has been filed. He was not taken into custody, as 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. I have seen this breed of hate before, but never this close up, and never in a place I consider safe.
Edit – just so y’all know Eddie’s has been very supportive and has assured me that Heath will not be returning to their venue.”
Lee claims she was “blindsided” by Sanders, who choked and hit her multiple times in the back of the head.
According to Lee, a police report was taken but Sanders was not arrested because it was her word against his. Lee also said in her statement that Eddie’s Attic confirmed to her that Sanders would not be returning to their venue, although the venue has not released a public statement confirming whether that’s true or not.
In a response posted to his social media, Sanders denied assaulting Lee, claiming that she was actually the aggressor and that he did nothing more than defend himself.
“I’m almost 38 years old and have never been a part of a police report. I have never been arrested nor seen the inside of a jail cell. On Saturday night a backstage verbal argument escalated and you may have seen one version of what happened. I’d like to share mine.
Another performer made accusations and the police came to investigate. 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.
I pride myself on being a peaceful man. I maintain that through morals and values that have been instilled in me since the day I was born. 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.”
According to Sanders, Lee pushed and then tried to bite and spit on him during the incident, and that he did not use any sort of derogatory slurs against her.
Sanders confirms that the police did come and investigate the altercation, but that he was not arrested and no charges were filed against him. He ends his post by saying that he will “meet this head on with the help of witnesses and the Decatur police department.”
According to multiple comments on social media, there is video of the incident, so we’ll likely see that at some point soon.
As of right now, no police report on the incident has been released to the public.