Creed front man Scott Stapp says MTV's recent stories questioning the injuries he suffered in an auto accident last month show the network's "lack of humanity" and "lack of media integrity."
In an exclusive interview with ABC Radio's ePrep, Stapp said he was upset with MTV for implying that he hadn't really been injured in the April 19 accident, and suggesting the band used the crash as an excuse to cancel the second leg of its North American tour.
"For them to throw a spin and try to create some kinda controversy just so shows the lack of humanity, the lack of, of media integrity, to find out both sides of the story," he said.
Creed's lead singer said he believed the cable network was out to get the rock band.
"I think that was deliberately wrong on their part. It showed malice in their heart toward the band and toward me, which they've shown from day one unless they want something from us," he said.
MTV declined comment. The network was one of several media outlets that reported on questions surrounding Stapp's injuries.
In Shock and on an Adrenaline High
Stapp said he was on his way to a video shoot when the accident happened in Orlando, Fla. Traffic was stop-and-go, but sometimes approached speeds of 55 mph. He said he braked suddenly when the cars in front of him stopped without warning, and his car was hit from behind by another motorist.
"I'd just forgotten to put my seat belt on and it [the impact of the crash] threw me into my steering wheel and my head hit the windshield," he said.
"I was shaking, um, you know, my adrenaline was flowing, I, I, I was kinda in shock. Um, I didn't know what to do so I sat there and tried to compose myself," he said.
He said he got out of his car and went to see if the people in the vehicle behind him were OK. "I checked on them, they were OK. Uh, my adrenaline was flowing and I, I pushed their car to the side of the road with them inside of it," he said.
‘I Just Wanna Go Home’
Stapp said MTV had cited the police accident report, which said there were "no injuries noted" at the time of the crash. He said he was in too much shock to realize he was hurt.
"When the police officer came over to ask me what was goin' on, uh, how I was doin', she noticed me trembling, she noticed me shaking, and, and, she had to notice that I was kinda confused, and, and I was a little bit delusional because I had a concussion."
Still, he said, he told the officer he was all right. He had called his manager, who has an office nearby, to drive him home.
Stapp said both the officer and his manager urged him to go to a hospital, but he said he didn't want to draw any media attention. "I said, 'So I just wanna go home.'"
The first indication that he wasn't all right came when he asked his manager to stop for two chocolate doughnuts on the way home.
"I don't even remember doing that until he told me the next day," Stapp said. "I mean, it's kinda funny now but it shows you the state I was in mentally."
Stapp was feeling poorly when he went to his rescheduled video shoot the next day, and finally he went to a doctor. Doctors told him that he had a whiplash and a concussion, and a bulging disk in his neck. A disk in his lower back was also torn and flattened.
He soon learned his condition was partially the result of a missing disk, a problem he had prior to the accident. He also learned his neck injury was most likely a pre-existing condition that had been aggravated by the accident.
The whiplash and concussion alone, Stapp says, would have forced him to cancel the first few weeks of Creed's tour.
"When you're doin' a show like I do that, you know, I demand so much outta my body for my shows. And my neck is critical, and, in my performance, in how I sing, that I put a major strain on the exact disk that I use night-in and night-out," he said.
He decided to postpone the entire tour when doctors warned him the stress of touring before his neck and back injuries were fully healed could make his condition much worse.
"I want to be a father, I want to be able to pick up my son in 10 years. I don't want to be in a wheelchair. I don't want to have constant numbness in my right arm," Stapp explained, listing some of the possibilities he could face if he heads out on the road too soon.
‘My Passion Is Touring’
Stapp said it upsets him that band employees are out of work awaiting his recovery. MTV and other media outlets getting a copy of the police report, and reporting he wasn't injured, Stapp said, made the situation all the more difficult.
Stapp insisted that the music network never tried to get his side of the story. "Not once did they call my manager's office, not once did they call and try to contact me," he said.
He sees the incident as just another example of MTV trying to "disrupt what [Creed has] tried to build," because the band has achieved their success "unconventionally, and not using them."
"They've taken that personally," Stapp says, "and in return, their insecurity and their own problem has turned on us."
MTV has since reported Stapp's version of the events surrounding the crash. But that's unlikely to satisfy the singer.
As for fans who may have seen the MTV reports, Stapp wants them to know "that I'm doing everything that I can do … to find out exactly what this problem is."
"I want to get back out on the road," he said. "My passion is touring and making music and being with the fans. And just the thought of that being taken away from me … it almost brings me to tears."