A country singer claims a maskless woman interrupted his performance by coughing on him.
In the shocking video posted to Facebook over the weekend, musician Clayton Gardner says he was performing an outdoor show in Las Colinas, Texas, last Friday when a woman snuck up behind him.
Though he tells her to keep her distance, the woman, who was not wearing a face covering, approaches him to make a song request. When Gardner demands that she get away, the woman gets closer, grabs the bandanna draped around his neck, and allegedly coughs on him.
“I handled it with class and as much patience as I could. I have practiced very safe hygiene and socially distanced myself from the start of Covid to protect my 3 year old daughter. In a matter of seconds this lady took that away from me. I was honestly shocked and pretty defenseless sitting there holding my guitar,” Gardner wrote.
While the artist admits he’d rather stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, he has “to play some gigs to pay my bills.”
“I can’t even do that safely and that’s disgraceful,” he added. “I choose to take this virus seriously to protect myself and the ones I love. That is my right, and I don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks about it.”
On Monday, Gardner posted an update thanking fans for their “kind words and support.” He also defended the venue and audience against criticism that they did not do enough to prevent the incident from happening.
“I don’t blame the venue. It’s a wonderful venue run by very good people… They were stunned, they didn’t know how to react. And quite honestly, I didn’t either. And I forgive them,” Gardner said in the clip. “Same goes for the audience… It’s not their fault. They were stunned. I’m not going to sit here and blame them for this either.”
Gardner also says the woman in question reached out and sent him a lengthy apology, which he has accepted.
“She made a mistake and we’ve all made mistakes. And I think that it’s okay to show her a little grace and forgiveness,” he said.
Gardner, who says he has turned down numerous interview requests from different outlets, also does not believe it is “productive” to out the woman’s identity.