Dave Matthews Band’s Violinist Boyd Tinsley Sued for Sexual Misconduct

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Tinsley. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Boyd Tinsley, the violinist for Dave Matthews Band who is currently taking a break from the group, has been sued for sexual misconduct. Consequence of Sound reports that Seattle musician James Frost-Winn, who previously worked for Tinsley in the band Crystal Garden, is accusing Tinsley of sexual assault, harassment, and “long-term grooming.” Frost-Winn, 28, tells CoS that he met the 54-year-old musician in 2007 and established a professional relationship that allegedly soon led to unwanted sexual advances, including multiple lewd comments via text (screenshots provided to CoS) and in person.

He claims that during a recording session at Tinsley’s Virginia home studio in 2015, Tinsley began groping him as he started to fall asleep. Frost-Winn says he woke up to Tinsley allegedly masturbating in front of him: “He had his hand on my ass. He was climaxing. I sat there for hours; I was so freaked out. I felt assaulted.” He claims that Tinsley blamed the incident on a “pill mix-up.” Frost-Winn quit Crystal Garden in 2016 after Tinsley bragged about the incident in front of other people; he filed his lawsuit on Thursday and is seeking $9 million in damages. In 2015, Tinsley was also sued by his former financial adviser who accused him in the dismissed suit of being a “sexual predator” who “has victimized an unknown number of starry-eyed fans.”

Dave Matthews Band has issued a statement to Pitchfork saying, “Though Boyd is no longer a member of the band, we are shocked by these disturbing allegations and we were not previously aware of them.” In a recent conversation with Vulture’s David Marchese, Matthews discussed Boyd’s departure from the band but did not mention the accusations (which Frost-Winn says he first made in February, when Boyd announced his hiatus), saying, “I have a deep love for Boyd, and he has to deal with his stuff.” He noted that Boyd’s departure is indefinite: “I can’t say, ‘I can’t wait till he comes back,’ because I don’t know what’s going to happen. But right now being away is better for him. Nobody is happy about this situation. Except that we’re happy he can figure some stuff out. I hope he does.”

Dave Matthews Band’s Violinist Sued for Sexual Misconduct