Winnipeg mom and son sell Hedley tickets after allegations against singer surface
Jacob Hoggard strongly denies sexual assault, although admits to objectifying women in the past
Kathi Von Gunten Wiebe and her 12-year-old son Alex, were looking forward to Hedley's show at the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg for months, that is until Saturday morning when Von Gunten Wiebe sold their tickets for half price on Kijiji.
She says allegations by an Ottawa woman against the band's lead singer, Jacob Hoggard, that he sexually assaulted her, erased any desire to support them.
After the Ottawa woman came forward, a Toronto woman told CBC the singer ignored her ground rules for sexual activity.
On Friday Toronto Police confirmed the sex crimes unit is investigating some allegations against Hoggard. No charges have been laid. Police did not say who made the complaint they are investigating.
Hoggard denies the allegations against him. In a statement posted to Twitter he said he has "never engaged in non-consensual sexual behaviour." He does admit to objectifying women in the past and that he has been "reckless" and "dismissive" of womens' feelings.
'It's not feeling right'
"At first I just wanted to dismiss it," Von Gunten Wiebe says of the allegations. "And then, as I was thinking about it, I just thought, 'It's not feeling right.'"
Von Gunten Wiebe and her husband sat down with Alex a few weeks ago to discuss what they were reading in the media. They showed him articles online and asked him if he still wanted to go.
It was a hard conversation, she says. They referenced words they had never spoken in front of their son before.
"I was a little bit nervous about that but it went really well," Von Gunten Wiebe said. "Alex made the decision and we backed him up. I'm not sure what we would have done if he decided to go ... So I'm pretty proud of him."
Alex's favourite shirt is his black Hedley t-shirt, with all four members on the front. He got it at their show in 2016. The black fabric has faded slightly from countless spins in the washing machine.
"I've been listening to his songs for a long time," he says of Hoggard.
Alex, who plays drums and a little guitar, learned the beat to Hedley's song Anything. He likes that the song references a famous quote by Wayne Gretzky: "You miss a hundred percent of the shots you never take."
When asked about his decision to not attend the concert Alex said "I was really disappointed but I knew it was the best thing for me to not go."
I think it's sort of like a life lesson … stuff doesn't always work out."
Von Gunten Wiebe paid $100 for her two tickets to Hedley's show on Saturday at the Bell MTS Centre. She sold the pair online for $50.
The mother and son will be going to a cousin's birthday party instead.