[Originally posted publicly on Facebook on Dec. 19, 2018]
Something very painful happened to me recently. Those who have been following me know about some of it.
I have been sitting on it all for a while and I am ashamed to say that it has taken me this long to come to the decision to finally speak up.
I do not take what I am about to say lightly, in fact this is one of the most difficult things I have ever done. However, after the past year (if not the past 23), it has to be said. Please read it until the end. If you doubt anything that I say or have said, ask me about it and I will clarify it for you.
Based on his current actions and everything I know about him from the past 23 years, Andy Deane behaves like a very real predator and emotional and psychological abuser.
He has used his fame, charisma, and psychological manipulation to seduce, use, and emotionally abuse women.
Don’t think I don’t know how this sounds. I do. It makes me sick to my stomach to say it, for many different reasons, but I do.
But, the fact is, he has been doing it for years.
When we were younger, I gave him a hard time about it, not fully understanding the gravity and impact of his actions. He would lie to the face of the woman he was with, while he slept with the next woman or two he had in line.
Many of these women were dear friends and I saw their pain (pain that many are still trying to live with to this day), but I believed that Andy was my brother, so I had his back, even when I knew what he was doing was wrong.
I genuinely regret this.
It often seemed like he truly cared for the women he was with. But, he has cheated on and, in one way or another, used every single one of them.
Over the past 18 months, his behavior has spun out of control. He has developed abusive pseudo-relationships with at least 10 women that I know of all across the country (maybe 15, depending on whether you count those who saw through him), betraying their trust and using them for sex and to feed his ego.
On top of that, he has had one-night stands with countless more women while on the road or using Tinder in the last year and a half, alone.
Quite damningly, he has actively and intentionally convinced many of these women to have unprotected sex with him. I have very strong reason to believe that he is carrying at least one STD and that he has been exposed to at least two more. Yet he refuses to get checked.
By practicing unsafe sex and by refusing to get checked he has put every single one of these women’s lives at risk.
If you are reading this and if you have had any physical relationship with him at any time, for your own safety please get tested.
Now, I knew about many of the women he was seeing over the past year and half. I asked him about whether or not he was being honest with them. He assured me he was. He assured me that they all knew about the other women.
The thing is, when everything went down recently, I started asking them. Most of them didn’t know. The ones who did justified it by saying they never expected fidelity from him; they were just happy to be with him. They were lost in him.
When you hear this kind of thing, at first you may be tempted to agree with them. You may be tempted to say, “Well, they are all adults. They can make their own decisions.” Shit, I was tempted to, too. I even did, at first. But, if a man rapes a woman, you don’t say, “She was a grown woman, she knew what she was doing.” If a man beats a woman, you don’t say, “They are all adults, they can make their own decisions.” If a man abuses a woman, you don’t say, “It was her fault.”
No. You help her get out of the situation as fast as possible and you help her heal and recover. You also do everything you can to make certain the assailant hurts no one else.
So, I started asking these women about their relationships with him. They were all uncannily similar. He was full on manipulating them, literally using the same script and techniques on each of them, massaging his approach to make it more effective by tailoring the details to the individual, using personal and intimate information that they shared with him in trust.
At least in the beginning, they buy it. Thankfully, more than a few break out of the spell.
But, even those that break away have said that they chose to be with him; that it was their decision to make. But, the thing is, they made that decision based on what he was telling them, what he was doing to them. He is very, very good at what he does and he is decidedly convincing.
When they finally get free of him they blame themselves for getting hurt, saying that it was their fault for believing him. Some even try to maintain friendships with him. It is known as “trauma bonding.”
So, in this situation, I cannot and do not blame the women in any way.
You may still say, “Haven’t they heard about his reputation?”
But who reliable was there to warn them away? An ex-girlfriend whose reputation he had already tried to destroy? A “jealous rival” he had fucked just last week?
He targets a very particular type of woman. Not all fall under this umbrella, but an uncanny number do. These women are strong, intelligent, kind, altruistic, trusting and empathic. They often appear confident in public, but are working hard on their self-esteem. Many have an uncertain body image. Most have been abused and are doing their best to recover. They are often 10-20 years younger than he is. Most drink alcohol. They are all stunningly beautiful.
He is very specific.
He will only move in if they are vulnerable and in a state or position where they are impressionable and/or easily influenced. He does not drink alcohol, but often targets those who do.
He feeds on their kindness, their generosity, their empathy, and their beauty. He seduces them with pretty blue eyes, a rockstar reputation, charm, praise, and flattery spoken skillfully and subtly to create the greatest influence on his target.
He cultivates trust, then, once they trust him, he feeds them a bullshit story about his own “deep sadness, sorrow and depression” that makes him appear vulnerable. When they lean into him emotionally, he takes them to bed.
“Okay, so he’s a player. Whatever. Not cool, but not unexpected from a rockstar.”
It’s what comes next that exhibits sociopathy.
These women are vulnerable and they trust him. He has convinced them that he is honest with them. He re-enforces this by saying, and I quote, “I’m not certain how much I can give you. I’m really working on myself right now. I have a lot of damage and I don’t feel comfortable committing to one relationship. But, I really care about you. If I were to commit to anyone, it would be you. You mean the world to me.”
Seems forthright enough, right? He’s being a good guy by setting the boundaries, right?
They’re fucked up boundaries, but, hey, who am I to judge, right?
Well, the quote above is what he said to one woman. When I asked some of the others, they all said he had repeatedly told them something very similar. That he promised each of them that he would be with them if he had to choose. That they would be the one.
He also told them that he was emotionally dead and that he was suicidal. That every night he thought about killing himself before he went to bed and every morning the first thing he thought about was killing himself. He told whichever woman he was with that she was the only thing that made him feel. That she was the only thing that kept him alive.
Now, remember the type of woman he has targeted. They are extremely empathic and they are vulnerable. They all want to fix, to help, to heal. So, when he says this shit to them, it is like crack. They immediately become addicted. Not only is he wounded, he “loves!” them. He will pick them! And they will save him!
But, at this point, he hasn’t really picked them. In fact, he is showing affection to other women. Well, what went wrong?
Maybe if they were better than the other women?
But how can they be better?
Maybe by becoming more seductive, more alluring, more attractive, more successful?
So, the situation gets worse. Not only are the women addicted, he starts to gaslight them. To make them doubt themselves, to question their own feelings and reality.
In no small part, this is because what he is saying to them does not line up with his actions. He lies to them unabashedly and fully in the open, then almost immediately does the complete opposite of what he just said.
In at least two situations, he told the woman he was with and I quote, “I truly care for you. You mean the world to me.” Then, later the very same day, he fucked another woman he had lined up and he didn’t even try to hide it. Both women he did this to were devastated by it.
He is using gaslighting as a tool to entrap these women. To make them feel shitty about themselves, to make them feel so mentally displaced and alone that he becomes the only one they go to for comfort.
“Am I fucked in the head, or does he really love me? If he loves me, why is he with all of these other women?” “He says I’m beautiful, but then critiques my body.” “He says I mean the world to him, but then he goes out and fucks someone else in the same night that he slept with me.” “When I told him how I felt about us, how much I cared, why did he always play it down?” “Why does he speak so highly of me, then fuck me, then make me feel like I am worthless?” “I am not good enough. I need to change. I need to make myself better so that he will love me more. So that I will be the one he chooses.”
It is a messy and terrible downward spiral and while they are with him, many of these women became or have become depressed, self-doubting, self-destructive, self-loathing, suicidal. He thrives on it, because it gives him power and control.
He shames and blames them, saying that they can leave at any time, that they are fully responsible for their feelings and that their suffering is their problem, not his.
He is a collector. He wants all of the pretty dolls up on the shelf to use when he wants and how he wants, without regard to who they are, how they feel, or the cost to others.
He does it purely for his own benefit and he does it without remorse. Seemingly, his only concern is that people adore him and that he can control them.
Many of the women that I talked to, from even as far back as 23 years ago, are still dealing with the psychological damage that he left them with. I’m not talking about your average emotional damage from a breakup, I’m talking about heavy and real damage to a woman’s sense of worth and who she is as a human being.
Most of them have gone on to build families and some (those who got the farthest away from him) have managed to lead happy and healthy lives. But the wounds he left have taken them years to recover from.
So, what brought me to all of this, to finally speak up?
My first wife cheated on me more than once. I figured out a way to handle that. Friends have betrayed me deeply in the past. I figured out how to move through it.
But what I cannot handle is manipulation, abuse, and a threat to the lives of people that I love.
Now, I have known about the fucked up sides of Andy for years. As jocks and rockers do, I swept them under the rug. We were best friends. We were Bella Morte!
But at the end of my time in the band, these shitty behaviors really started to come out in full force.
Lying outright; saying one thing, then immediately doing another; manipulating the people around him; playing all of us against each other; brutally and repeatedly cheating on his girlfriend; etc.
But, even then, we were still friends. At the time, I did not know the extent of what he was doing and we had our own damage going on, but we were still friends. We founded the band together. We went through hell together. So, I had his back. Even though I knew he was wrong, I let it go over and over and over again. “Oh, that’s just Andy.”
Over the past few years, it has gotten so much worse.
Yet I still justified his actions. I still protected and defended him.
I lost friend after friend after friend because of this, until it was pretty much just Andy, my wife Angel and I hanging out together. Almost everyone else was gone.
So, when he ran out of everyone else, he targeted people very dear to me.
At this point in this letter, I had written a long and detailed personal account of what happened to me and to those I love. However, when the people who were involved read it, they responded far more intensely and painfully than I had expected they would.
If I could, I would shout out my story and the story of every single woman he has hurt or betrayed as loudly as I could. But they have asked me not to and, if at all possible, I refuse to hurt them any more than he already has.
You see, even though I can analytically address this situation and even though I can theoretically understand the damage that Andy has caused, I am unable to actually put myself in their shoes.
All they want to do is move on. They do not want to relive what happened with him, they do not want to speak out against him, they do not want to think about him in any way, at all.
As absolutely sad and painful as it is to say, in cases of abuse, “Humiliation, shame, and fear equal silence.”
I cannot claim to understand what they are feeling and what they are going through. But I hope that with time, some will choose to step forward and share their story.
But, right now, I cannot and will not remain quiet about what I do know.
23 years of personal experience.
Staying quiet empowers him and I cannot do that any longer.
I will respect these women’s wishes to keep their names and details out of this letter and the coming discussions, but I will also speak out against Andy for them.
His combination of gaslighting, willful unprotected sex, and the complete disregard for the health and wellbeing of the people he is with is very literally a killer. So many women walk away mentally and emotionally damaged, suicidal, and medically at risk.
Still, you may wish to give him the benefit of the doubt. You may wish to say, “But, he’s such a nice guy! There is no way he is doing this intentionally! He must just not know that he is hurting these women.”
The thing is, he is really not a nice guy, he IS doing it intentionally and he knows exactly how his words and actions affect the women he is with.
But, for the sake of argument, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Then let’s look at the fallout from his actions. Whether he knows it or not, what he is doing is still fucked up and wrong and it requires every possible voice to step up and speak against it.
After reading this, he may try to apologize and defend himself on his own.
Anyone who knows him with any true level of intimacy knows that the only time he will ever apologize is after he has already been called out or is under the gun. First, he will lie, then he will do everything he can to convince you that he is genuine. If you (foolishly) believe him, as soon as the situation dies down he will go right back to doing whatever it was that he was doing before, right up until the next time someone calls him out.
Another one of his primary excuses/tactics/scapegoats is to say, “I’m working on myself.” If you pay attention, the only time he ever says this is when he feels the need to deflect attention away from whatever fucked up thing he is currently doing. It is an effort to make you think, “Oh. He is a good guy. He is just struggling like the rest of us. Well, people make mistakes. He’ll do better next time.”
The problem is, he has been saying and doing this for years. It is a smokescreen.
People who work on themselves make progress. They change their way of doing things. They strive to be better people. But he has shown very little sign of change or growth. His morality and life choices have fluctuated up and down over the years, but the only net change I have seen is that he has actually continued to refine his predatory techniques and has gotten even more abusive. Basically, he says he is working on himself, but he has just gotten worse with time.
Over the past year and half, I have had to really look at him, I have had to look at the kind of person he has become. The kind of person he may have always been.
I have realized that ALL of the good I saw in our friendship actually came from a relatively short period of time, maybe three years. Echoes of that period were embedded in our friendship and I always believed that that good was the core of who we were. It was a day-to-day hang-out kind of good. But, when I stepped back and looked at the big picture, the vast majority of our time as friends was him doing fucked up shit, using people without remorse, abusing those who were closest to him and me justifying it and trying to pick up the pieces.
But I can no longer justify his actions or the continued damage he does to the people he takes advantage of, to the women who face suicidal thoughts every day because of him, to the lives that are wounded and damaged by his abuse. I cannot look away and say, “That’s just Andy.”
Again, I am ashamed that I haven’t had the strength or clarity to stand up for all of the people that he has hurt before now. If there are sides in life, up until this point I have very clearly been on the wrong one.
But he has put the lives of those I love and every single one of the women he has ever abused in jeopardy. He is a predator and he needs to stop. If I can help make that happen in any way, I will.
So, on November 3, 2018 my love for him and belief in our friendship finally broke. I walked away from him and I haven’t spoken to him since.
Today, I have finally spoken up.
Ultimately, he is a very small creature in a very big world, but that is no excuse for him to hurt even one of you.
In this letter, I mentioned sociopathy. I did not do so lightly.
ORIGINAL: Schizophrenia and mental illness run in his family. His actions are in alignment with this.
UPDATE: Mental illness runs in his family and his actions are in alignment with this. (NOTE: I have learned that schizophrenia is unrelated to NPD, however, he is still at risk of both.)
The only chance I can see of Andy becoming anything more than a predator is for him to go and get the serious, professional long-term psychological and medical help he needs.
However, even though he has known for years that he needs a psychological evaluation and even though he knows he still needs medication, to date he has refused to do what is necessary.
Maybe one day he will. But even if he stopped preying on woman today, it will still take years for many of these women to recover from the damage he has done.