The lead singer of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest winning act has strongly denied wild claims he was caught on camera snorting drugs during the live final.
Italian band Måneskin – who were former contestants on their nation’s X Factor – romped to victory on Saturday night after scooping a huge 524 points and securing their place at the top of the leaderboard.
And while their energetic, metal powered rock performance had many talking, a video of the band sitting in the green room sparked wild speculation among Eurovision viewers.
Måneskin – consisting of lead singer Damiano David, guitarist Victoria De Angelis, musician Thomas Raggi and drummer Ethan Torchio – were seated together and alongside other contestants in the live final on Saturday.
Cameras showed Malta contestant Destiny speaking to one of the show’s presenters when cameras suddenly cut to the table hosting Måneskin.
In footage that went viral on social media, 22-year-old Damiano can be seen lowering his head behind a bucket of drinks, sparking wild claims among fans.
One fan asked on Twitter : “Does Italy’s singer realise this is being live broadcast across an entire continent?”
But the star has spoken out to deny suggestions he was taking illegal drugs.
Clearing up the incident at a press conference, he was met with cheers and applause from those in attendance.
He said: “I don’t use drugs.”
“Tomas broke a glass with his leg” – he continued, arguing he was helping clear up the wreckage.
He added: ”I don’t use cocaine… please don’t say that.”
There is no evidence to suggest Damiano was involved in any wrongdoing.
The group showed support for their lead singer, stating via Instagram: “We are really shocked about what some people are saying about Damiano doing drugs.
“We really are AGAINST drugs and we never used cocaine. We are ready to get [tested], cause we have nothing to hide.
“We are here to play our music and we are so happy about our Eurovision win and we wanna thank everyone for supporting us. Rock’n Roll never dies. We love you.”
The Italian group were crowned winners on Saturday night – after Switzerland’s Gjon’s Tears and France’s Barbara Pravi battled for the top spot after receiving top marks from European jurys.
But viewer votes switched up the league table – with Italy swooping in to win the crown by 25 points.
It was a depressing night for the UK, however, as James Newman failed to secure any votes from either the jury or viewers, ending in last place with zero points.