UPDATE: 11/22/23 at 22:47 p.m. ET
After Sarhadi claimed in July that she was sexually assaulted by Sane, she filed a Wednesday, November 22, lawsuit against the musician, per documents obtained by Rolling Stone. She is also suing Anti-Flag’s distribution company — of which bandmates Bollinger, Head and Barker are registered members — for an unspecified amount. The news comes four months after Anti-Flag abruptly disbanded amid their European Tour.
“Justin Geever used his platform as a celebrated, self-proclaimed ‘punk rock star’ to groom and lure vulnerable girls into feeling safe in his presence,” Sarhadi alleged in a statement to the outlet. “While he sang about protecting women and standing up to abusers, it appears he was hiding an addiction to power and control, harming countless women who have been unable to speak up before now. Today I hope to encourage his survivors, and survivors of other predators in the music industry, to feel hope again.”
Original story below:
Longtime punk rock band Anti-Flag have broken up after 35 years of playing music together.
“Anti-Flag has disbanded, the Patreon has been switched into a mode where it will no longer charge the monthly fee,” the group’s Patreon page read on Wednesday, July 19. “I will begin to process refunds to all patrons in the coming weeks. Once all refunds are processed the Patreon page will also be removed.”
Following the announcement on the membership platform service, the band’s official website and social media were subsequently deleted. Frontman Justin Greever — who goes by the stage name Justin Sane — has also deleted his Twitter page.
The news came as a shock to fans of the music group which consists of members Greever, Pat Thetic, Chris Head and Chris Barker — who is also known as Chris No. 2. Anti-Flag was in the middle of a European tour with the Dropkick Murphys. Neither one of the bands have announced their plans for the upcoming shows.
Earlier this year, drummer Thetic praised his fellow bandmates for their longevity as they prepared to release their 13th album, Lies They Tell Our Children.
“It’s really unusual — incredibly unusual — and it’s a testament to the fact that we have a mission with the band,” Thetic said in January to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We have a belief structure, and we make allowances to be able to keep that mission going.”
Anti-Flag fans began to question reasons for the group’s abrupt split after a woman named Kristina Sarhadi came forward on the “Enough” podcast — which is dedicated to sexual assault in the music business. In the July 19 episode, Sarhadi claimed she was sexually assaulted by a singer in a political punk band.
Fans have noticed that details of Anti-Flag’s history might match up with her story, per Revolver. Neither Greever nor other members of Anti-Flag have addressed the allegations.
Sarhadi claimed she connected with the unnamed musician at one of his shows in Brooklyn and exchanged numbers. Weeks later, the pair met up at a film festival near her hometown and spent time together at a party. After the event, the musician allegedly told Sarhadi he had recorded a song with Billy Bragg and offered to play it for her in his room.
“So he closes the door, he locks the door and then before I can even turn around or look for the computer that he was going to play this song on … he screamed, ‘Football tackle’ and tackled me onto the bed,” she alleged in the podcast episode. “Which is the most terrifying way to begin a sexual assault, I would say. It sounded playful and he was giggling about it but also as soon as I hit the bed, he put his hand around my throat and basically turned into a monster.”
Anti-Flag was formed in 1988 by Greever and Thetic but disbanded after their first year. The group — which added Head and Barker to the band — decided to give it another try in 1992 and went on to release their debut album, Die For The Government four years later. The group found success in the early 2000s when they were signed to Fat Wreck Chords and joined the annual Warped Tour.
After signing on with RCA, Anti-Flag went on to become an international touring act and one of the most politically outspoken bands. The group spoke out against wars, tyranny, police brutality, environmental destruction and social injustices in their songs.
If you or someone you know have been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).