Barenaked Lady admitted drug use
TORONTO – Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page, known for his quirky lyrics, environmental activism and clean-cut image, admitted to New York police that he was snorting cocaine prior to his arrest last week, court documents allege.
The documents, filed with the Fayetteville Village Court in New York, contain details from police as well as a statement from a woman arrested at the same time as the 38-year-old Toronto resident.
A felony complaint against the singer states he was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance early Friday morning after police stumbled upon a car parked across a driveway with its driver-side door open.
After tracking the license plate of the vehicle, police entered an apartment where they found Page and 25-year-old Stephanie Ford in the kitchen.
In a statement to police filed with the court, Ford said the two had just finished snorting what she believed to be cocaine using a rolled-up Canadian bill.
She said Page had stored several capsules containing a white powdery substance in a bottle labelled Calcium.
A separate court document states that police questioned Page about the substance he was snorting after it tested positive for cocaine.
“Yeah, it’s cocaine,” the documents quote Page as saying.
Police allege Page had about a third of an ounce of the drug on him at the time of his arrest. He was taken into police custody, but was later released after posting $10,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in a New York court on August 26. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.
The court documents say Ford, who was also charged with drug possession, told police the evening’s events began when Page got into a fight with his girlfriend, Christine Benedicto, at a local bar.
In her statement to police, Ford said Page believed Benedicto was flirting with another man.
Ford told police the two argued, with Page leaving the bar and planning to drive back to Canada after he had been drinking. Ford told police she forcibly restrained him from getting behind the wheel by following him back to the apartment she shares with Benedicto and sitting on him.
Benedicto later arrived at the apartment, confiscated Page’s car keys, and drove off, according to Ford’s statement. She was later arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.
The criminal charge is a notable blemish on what has otherwise been a squeaky-clean run for the bespectacled Page and bandmates Ed Robertson, Tyler Stewart, Jim Creeggan and Kevin Hearn.
Since forming nearly 20 years ago in Toronto’s east end, they’ve crafted a sizable catalogue of catchy, humour-filled hits including “If I Had a $1,000,000,” “Yoko Ono,” “One Week” and “It’s All Been Done” while garnering several Juno wins and two Grammy nominations.
The band recently released a children’s album called “Snacktime.” Their next public appearance is slated for a benefit concert hosted by Disney and Playskool on behalf of four children’s charities.
In a brief message posted on its website, the band thanked fans for their support and said “the validity of the charges against Steven will be strongly contested.”
“While this is happening, it’s business as usual for Barenaked Ladies,” states the message at www.bnlmusic.com.
“We will continue to perform and look forward to heading into the studio later this year to record a new album. We want to thank our loyal fans for their continued support during this difficult time.”
Barenaked Lady admitted drug use