Local singer-songwriter blew up at a netizen who accused him of supporting his friend Dee Kosh in the wake of Dee’s sexual harassment scandal.
Over the past weekend, several individuals alleged that the 32-year-old tried to sexually groom teenage boys under the guise of wanting to work with them. Alleged victims shared screenshots online that appeared to show inappropriate messages from Dee – whose real name is Darryl Koshy – offering boys half his age large amounts of money in exchange for sexual favours.
While several companies and influencers have distanced themselves from Dee after the allegations surfaced, Nathan Hartono stood firmly beside Dee whom he has collaborated with in the past. When one netizen commented, “U stand by Dee Kosh? Not surprised u have zero spine (sic),” on one of Nathan’s most recent social media posts, the 29-year-old seemed to snap.
Lashing out at the netizen, whom he called a troll, Nathan wrote: “I do my best to avoid shining a light on trolls like you. But since you made the backbreaking effort of leaving a comment, I’ll feed you tonight, ok? Last I checked, I haven’t said a damn word about this situation. I choose to withhold any opinion until I understand the full story.”
Revealing that he does not “know enough to give a fair and informed response,” Nathan added that he is still friends with Dee and will continue to be friends with him. In a rather personal comment, he wrote:
“Stories have two sides. You know what else though? Regardless of whether he’s in the wrong, or right, or somewhere in between… I am a friend of his. Have been for years. And last I checked, friends don’t abandon each other when they are at their weakest.
“And before you say “SO U STILL SUPPORT HIM AH”. Should I personally feel like he is wrong, after finding out the whole truth, I will be there for him on the path towards healing and improvement. Because that’s what friends do for each other. You don’t just drop your friends the moment it becomes inconvenient to have them. You do not just abandon them.
“That you see this as an attribute of spinelessness speaks volumes about who you are. And I pity the ones you hold “close”, ‘cos the moment waters get rough, you’re the first to abandon ship.”
The netizen who initially wrote to Nathan, @hennyjolzer, replied: “frankly I just find it pathetic that you would protect predatory abusers just bc they’re ur friends like damn read the news or check twitter or smth, it’s not like there’s no evidence lol u can feign ignorance all u want.”
While some supported Nathan’s views, others said that they would have no problems dropping friends who cross lines like sexually harassing minors. Netizens asked the singer to consider the alleged victims and take a stand against sexual harassment.
In response to criticism, Nathan said that he cannot speak up without understanding the full truth. He added in another comment that he is not defending anyone but is simply “stating his feelings” about the situation.
As netizens expressed disappointment with his replies, Nathan reiterated that he is not standing by anybody in another comment and added, “I will be there to help on the road to recovery once the whole truth is out. This could also mean tough love, should he be fully in the wrong or not.
“I refuse to jump to conclusions, especially because of our personal relationship. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t biased, how could I not be? But I am also not going to defend/attack something I do not yet fully understand.”
Dee initially denied all allegations and even engaged a lawyer to issue a cease and desist letter to an alleged victim before admitting some wrongdoing. In an apology post published on Monday, he said that while he did not have sexual relations with minors, he now “admit(s) that there is truth to some of the things which are being said now, and I am sorry to the people I have hurt in the process.”
Nathan subsequently shared Dee’s apology on his Instagram stories, giving rise to more questions of whether he supports Dee’s actions. The singer, who sang this year’s National Day song, said that he prefers to reserve judgment since not all the information is out.
He added that he is not going to abandon his friend and will help him in his path to recovery, even if Dee did do something inappropriate. Nathan wrote: “Should I personally feel like he is wrong, after finding out the whole truth, I will be there for him towards the path of healing and improvement.”
Nathan has promised to discuss the Dee Kosh scandal in greater detail tomorrow morning. Look out for The Independent’s coverage as the aftermath of the scandal unfolds.