On Wednesday, Seavey announced the cancelation of his upcoming solo tour, explaining that he has to stand as a witness in a trial for the lawsuit his former management company Signature Entertainment brought against his Why Don’t We bandmates.
The members of Why Don’t We were sued for breach of contract and defamation in August 2021. In return, the group counter-sued Signature shortly after, alleging financial and emotional abuse and that their former managers violated the Florida Talent Agency Act. (Seavey is no longer included in the lawsuit directly after a judge freed him from his contract following his submission for bankruptcy.)
“I’m totally gutted to even be typing this, but a recent shift in events has occurred in my life,” he wrote, adding that his attendance at the trial postponed from Monday to Oct. 16 was “mandatory.”
Months ago, Seavey was freed from his contract with Signature after he filed for bankruptcy, with a judge telling him he was “free to pursue my solo career.” Although he’s no longer directly involved in the Why Don’t We lawsuit, Seavey will take the stand as a “witness in advocacy of my bandmates.”
“Jack, Zach, Jonah, and Corbyn are my family and I hope you can understand,” he wrote. “I will miss you so so much but I promise to see everyone in 2024 for my debut album and world tour.”
Seavey was set to go on a three-week tour across the United States to promote his debut, seven-track EP, which featured tracks such as “Give It a Week,” “Fall Into You,” and lead single “Can We Pretend That We’re Good?“
“This is devastating for me because performing my music live for you is my favorite thing to do in the world, and every fiber of my being dreads the thought of ever letting you all down this much,” he wrote, “but this trial is unavoidable for me.”
The singer previously addressed the legal battle with Why Don’t We’s former management company as he surprise-released his debut EP last month. “Earlier this year I took some big legal risks to attempt to free myself from my managers (the same ones that I believe broke up my band). I simply wanted to leave the past behind and continue forward with a solo carreer,” wrote the singer.
He directed the end of the note to his former manager: “And to David Loeffler and Steve Miller directly, as Judge Barash said himself: You Don’t Own Me.”
Why Don’t We went on hiatus last summer amid the legal battle with Signature. The band previously accused Loeffler, their former manager, of “mental, emotional, and financial abuse” in September 2021.
“He would not only live with us during the day but controlled us 24/7, setting an alarm that would go off if any door or window was opened,” the group wrote in the lengthy statement. “We were not given the security code to the alarm, essentially making us hostages in our own home.”
Why Don’t We formed in 2016 and released its debut album, 8 Letters, two years later, including two songs written by Ed Sheeran. Their 2021 LP featured production credits by Travis Barker, Skrillex, and Timbaland.
As for Seavey’s solo career, he announced that he’d be releasing an EP in an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, though he had originally named it Dancing in the Light instead of Dark.
“For myself and for my sanity, I’m going to be so authentically me,” he said in January. “If it hurts me, I can at least die knowing I did that for myself because I needed to.”