Billboard | 11 March 2016
The owners of the Bataclan have fired back against Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes after his claims that security for the Paris venue “had a reason not to show up” the night that terrorists killed 89 people at their show as part of coordinated attacks across the city.
Speaking to Fox Business Network on Wednesday, Hughes recalled noticing a disturbing lack of security when he arrived at the Bataclan for their show on Nov. 13, the day of the attacks.
“When I first got to the venue and walked in, I walked past the dude who was supposed to be the security guard for the backstage. He didn’t even look at me,” Hughes said. “I immediately went to the promoter and said, ‘Who’s that guy? I want to put another dude on.’ He says, ‘Well, some of the other guards aren’t here yet.’ And eventually I found out that six or so wouldn’t show up at all.”
“Out of respect for the police still investigating, I won’t make a definite statement,” he hedged, “but it seems rather obvious that they had a reason not to show up.”
A representative for the Bataclan has now issued a statement, as reported by Variety, painting Hughes’ claims as dangerously unfounded.
“Jesse Hughes spread some very grave and defamatory accusations against the Bataclan teams,” read the statement. “A judicial investigation is undergoing. We wish to let justice proceed serenely. All the testimonies gathered to this day demonstrate the professionalism and courage of the security agents who were on the ground on November 13. Hundreds of people were saved thanks to (these agents’) intervention.”
The band’s representation offered no further comment at this time, but upcoming tour dates beginning this month, including several in the U.S., remain confirmed. In February the Bataclan, which has remained closed down since the November attacks, announced that it aims to reopen its doors before the end of the year.