Tessa Neumann — the 26-year-old stepdaughter of BoDeans’ front-man Kurt Neumann — says that a co-founder of the band BoDeans, a popular band hailing from Milwaukee, repeatedly molested her at a young age, and had inappropriate conversations that were sexual in nature when she was still a child, according to USA Today.
The BoDeans are one of the most successful and popular bands to have come from the Milwaukee area, with hit songs such as “Closer to Free” and “Good Things.”
However, after a recent interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Tessa Neumann’s accusation against former band member Sam Llanas is shedding a disturbing light on the bands’ dark history.
Here’s what you need to know about Tessa Neumann:
1. Neumann Accused Llanas of Forcing Her to Perform Oral Sex on Him When She Was a Young Teenager
Neumann told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Llanas first made sexual contact with her when she was 9-years-old, and that he “forced her to perform hand and oral sex on him when she was 13 or 14.”
“Someone came into my life and took my childhood and my innocence, and it really messes with your head,” Tessa Neumann told the Journal Sentinel.
Llanas denies the allegations and has not been charged with a crime. Neumann has not filed a complaint with police or pursued a civil lawsuit, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Neumann claims that the inappropriate contact occurred from 2001 until 2006 or 2007.
2. Kurt Neumann Claims that Llanas Attempted to Destroy BoDean’s After Leaving the Band
Neumann publicly detailed her accusations against Llanas over a series of interviews with the Journal Sentinel. Her step-father Kurt and mother Barbra were present for the interviews.
On February 20, Kurt Neumann accused Llanas of molesting his stepdaughter on the BoDeans’ Facebook page, although he did not name Tessa outright in the post.
In the emotional Facebook post, Kurt Neumann thanked BoDeans fans for their unwavering support, but called Llanas out, claiming Llanas has done nothing but try to sabotage the band since he left BoDeans in 2011.
“From the time he quit the band in 2011 and left us out on the road to carry on, he’s been trying to kill BoDeans for his own benefit,” Neumann stated in his Facebook post. He went on to state that Llanas blamed the band for his “circumstances,” after Llanas allegedly went “running to newspapers or radio,” to complain about BoDeans.
He then reposted Tessa’s accusations, with an emotional tribute stating that he will be forever sorry for bringing Llanas into his daughter’s life.
3. Tessa Neumann Accused Llanas of Calling Her a Child but still Treating Her Like an Adult Sexually & Wrote a Song About the Abuse
Tessa Neumann’s words about Llanas were re-posted in the same Facebook post that Kurt wrote. Kurt was addressing fans about the situation, and pasted her exact words about the incident in the body of the post.
Tessa stated: “The man who molested me when I was a kid would talk to me about deep personal or adult things and when I’d offer up my opinion he’d often say “well what do you know? your [sic] just a kid.”
She continued, stating that she had “small epiphanies” about how she didn’t understand that Llanas would call her a child, but continued to treat her like an adult sexually.
“In those moments over time I’d start to have these small Epiphanies like… If I’m just a kid…why’s it’s ok to do these things with me? Or treat me “adult” sexually? That’s when I wrote a song called-you say I’m just a kid but look at what you did.”
4. The Alleged Abuse Took Place Over Several Years, with Neumann’s Accusing Llanas of Cornering Her Backstage at Shows & in His Hotel Room
Neumann accused Llanas of starting the inappropriate contact with her when she was just 9-years-old, according to the Journal Sentinel. She claims that much of the contact was during isolated moments backstage at shows.
Neumann alleged that she was 11 when Llanas cornered her in the Milwaukee Marcus Amphitheater green room, kissing her up and down her neck and touching her inappropriately.
A similar incidence occured during a BoDean’s New Year’s Eve show in 2003 when Llanas “kept putting his hand under her velvet skirt and caressing her butt,” according to the Journal Sentinel.
She also claims that he exposed himself to her during moments in his hotel room while using the bathroom with the door open, and forced her to perform oral sex on him when they were alone.
5. The Abuse Led Neumann to a Heroine Addiction at the Young Age of 12
Llanas denies all allegations against him, stating in a Facebook post that he was “shocked and saddened to read Kurt Neumann’s Facebook post making terrible untrue allegations of misconduct against me.”
Neumann told the Journal Sentinel that the sexual abuse played an enormous role in her “troubled childhood.” She told the Sentinel that she became addicted to heroin when she was 12, after befriending older girls, one of whom was dating a drug dealer.
“At one point she stole $14,000 from her mother, who was working as the band’s manager, to buy drugs,” the Journal Sentinel states. “Barbra Neumann, distraught, thought she had lost the cash, finding out the truth in 2011.”
Neumann says that Llanas wasn’t aware of her drug habit, nor did he supply any drugs to her over the years of the alleged abuse. Her mother Barbra says that she and her husband discovered Tessa’s drug addiction after she became “violently ill” when she was 13. The Neumann’s kept Tessa at home to detox, and once she was clean she stayed home to be homeschooled.
Tessa Neumann said the abuse “drove me to making choices that made me feel bad about myself.” She said she relapsed a few times after she turned 14, but stopped using drugs for good when she was 15, the Journal Sentinel reports.
You can read the full report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here.