Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen released his first statement and said he was “focusing on healing” after being attacked outside his hotel in Fort Lauderdale on Monday (March 13).
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“Thank you everyone for your overwhelming support,” said Allen on his social media pages. “Your love and prayers are truly helping. My wife Lauren was thankfully not with me at the time of the incident. We are together now, and working on recovering in a safe space.”
Allen was attacked in front of the driveway of the Four Seasons Fort Lauderdale after stepping outside to have a cigarette, when 19-year-old Max Edward Hartley from Ohio, ran “full-speed” towards the drummer, striking him and knocking him backward.
As a result of Hartley’s attack, Allen, 59, fell and hit his head on the ground causing injury, according to the police report.
Prior to the attack, Hartley allegedly hid behind a pillar outside the hotel before the attack. A woman who witnessed the attack ran out of the hotel to help Allen. When she attempted to go back into the hotel for help, Hartley reportedly pulled her back by her hair and also knocked her to the ground.
The drummer was in town after performing the previous night at the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in nearby Hollywood, Florida, as part of Def Leppard’s co-headlining tour with Mötley Crüe.
“We are focusing on healing for everyone involved,” said Allen in his post. “We ask you to join us in our effort to move from confusion and shock to compassion and empathy. We understand this act of violence can be triggering for so many people.”
He added, “To all of the fans, veterans, and first responders in our global community we are thinking of you all. Together with love, we can all get through these difficult times.”
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images