Former Mumford & Son's member Winston Marshall has said his bandmates were targeted by "internet mobs" prior to his exit from the group.
The 33-year-old lead guitarist and banjo player had attracted controversy earlier this year after tweeting in support of right-wing US journalist Andy Ngo, and officially stepped down from the group last week.
He's told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday that he had been subjected to "a lot of very horrible negativity" which was mostly "nonsense and lies" and his bandmates had been on the receiving end of negative messages too.
Watch: Winston Marshall quits Mumford and Sons after 'Twitter storm'
He added: “But what was sort of unpleasant about it is that they went for my bandmates, they went for my friends, and that’s not fair on them because it’s got nothing to do with them.
“But in the public eye we were a unity and that’s, I suppose, what these internet mobs do.
“They go for all those people around you and that’s, I think, what was so troubling for me about the experience, was to see my friends getting dragged under the bus with me, which is not fair on them.”
Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane remain in the group. Marshall added his former bandmates were “so sweet and stood by me and invited me to continue”.
He went on to say his now-deleted tweet in support of Ngo's book Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan To Destroy Democracy was "foolish".
The Los Angeles Times wrote in February that Unmasked was Ngo’s “supremely dishonest new book on the left-wing anti-fascist movement known as antifa”.
With additional reporting by PA.
Watch: Mumford and Sons' banjoist taking 'time away from band'