Calgary radio station stops playing Hedley after DJ shares her story on air

A Calgary radio personality shared, live and on-air Wednesday, what she's calling her #MeToo moment involving Hedley singer Jacob Hoggard — prompting the station to stop playing the Canadian band's tunes.

Katie Summers claims Jacob Hoggard made sexual comments, grabbed her backside after interview 7 years ago

Calgary radio personality Katie Summers shared her #MeToo allegations about Hedley singer Jacob Hoggard live on-air on Wednesday. (Mike Symington/CBC)

A Calgary radio personality shared what she's calling her #MeToo moment involving Hedley singer Jacob Hoggard live on-air Wednesday — prompting the station to stop playing the Canadian band's tunes.

Katie Summers says Hoggard made comments of a sexual nature toward her and grabbed her backside after an interview.

"It happened so quickly, but I remember it so clearly," Summers, one half of AMP Mornings With Katie & Ed on 90.3 AMP, said over the airwaves about the incident seven years ago.

She was 23 at the time and it was her first major market radio job after college. 

"I had been a Hedley fan since they had first come out. I watched Jacob Hoggard on Canadian Idol way back in the day. I saw them perform at SAIT. It was a big deal to me. I was very star-struck," she said.

"This was my first opportunity as a jock to be in the same room with somebody who I admired."

Someone who witnessed the encounter has backed up Summers's story, but CBC News has agreed not to identify that person.

Supportive colleagues

The radio station and her co-workers have been supportive of Summers. The station tweeted a video of her sharing her story.

Summers's on-air co-host, who just goes by Ed, says he understands why she waited to share her story.

"For anyone that is at that point in their career, they don't want to screw this up. If I come forward, what's it going to do to my future in this industry?" Ed said.

"I think what she did is amazing. It encourages others to speak up and talk about #MeToo. That's what it's all about. Saying something helps other people."

Calgary DJ Katie Summers says she just hopes it will encourage other people to tell their story. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

Summers says she just hopes it will encourage other people to tell their story.

"Of course I was scared, just like everyone else. I don't know what people are going to say. It's easy to get lost in fear of what others might think or you could just say, 'Hey, this happened to me and I don't really care what you think about it,'" Summers said.

"Sometimes I think, yeah, I wish I had said something, but I don't think it matters when you come forward. I think it's a story that needs to be told. No matter how minimal others might think it is, you can't let other people dictate our story, your truth."

Allegations not proven

A Manitoba woman has accused Hoggard of sexually inappropriate behaviour and says dozens of other women have similar stories, shared with her since she started the Twitter hashtag called #outHedley2k18.

"All of us in Hedley are active on social media, because that is the main way we hear from our fans across Canada. Because we are active on social media, we often see things said or alleged that simply are not true. That is what we have seen over the past week: allegations made against us by anonymous accounts that are completely, totally false," a spokesperson for the band said in an email.

An Ottawa woman has accused Hoggard of sexually assaulting her in 2016, an allegation he denies. A spokesperson for Hoggard said the encounter was consensual.

She did not file a police complaint and none of her allegations has been tested in court.

The band withdrew from the Juno Awards. Several radio stations, including CBC, have stopped playing the band's music and their management team cut ties with them.

CBC News reached out to Jacob Hoggard's lawyer for comment on this latest allegation, but have not yet heard back.

Hoggard issued a statement through social media on Wednesday evening saying he is taking an indefinite leave from music once the band's current tour is finished.

"I was given a position of leadership and power and I mishandled it. I will regret this the rest of my life," the statement reads in part.

"I've let down my family, my friends, and so many fans. I'm sorry."

Once the tour is done, after a show in Kelowna B.C., on March 23, Hoggard wrote that he "will be taking a serious step back in order to make real changes in my life, seek guidance from family and continue to learn and grow from the amazing women in my life."

With files from CBC's Dave Gilson, Elizabeth Snaddon and Mike Symington