Alice Glass left Crystal Castles in 2014. She had been the group's frontperson since their formation in 2006. At the time, she cited "personal and professional reasons" as the reason for her departure. But now she has come forward to say that she left the band after enduring years of alleged abuse at the hand of then-bandmate Ethan Kath (whose real name is Claudio Palmieri).
In a lengthy post on her official site she claims Kath abused, assaulted, and intimidated her throughout the band's entire existence. She says the abuse started when she was 15 years old. She is now 29. Glass writes:
Claudio was very manipulative towards me. He figured out my insecurities and exploited them: he used the things he learned about me against me. Over a period of many months, he gave me drugs and alcohol and had sex with me in an abandoned room at an apartment he managed. It wasn't always consensual and he remained sober whenever we were together. When I was 16 or 17 he gave me a CD of songs and asked me to write and sing over them. I took the songs home and wrote lyrics and melodies and we recorded the tracks I liked. But even with music, he created a toxic environment that I often felt I had to go along with. While recording our first EP, the recording engineer sexually harassed me while we were in the studio. Claudio laughed at me and pressured me to go along with it. He called our first single "Alice Practice" and said my vocals were a mic test. He concocted that story and told press it was an "accidental" recording, intentionally diminishing my role in its creation. It was another way of putting me down and preying on my insecurities.
She goes on to further allege that Kath was domineering, monitoring every facet of her life.
He controlled everything I did. I wasn't allowed to have my own phone or my own credit card, he decided who my friends were, read through my private emails, restricted my access to social media, regulated everything I ate. He berated me and yelled at me, telling me that I was a joke, that all the people that came to our shows were only interested in his instrumentals and that I was ruining the band. He broke glass shower doors to frighten me, he locked me into rooms. He told me that my feminism made me a target for rapists and only he could protect me. He forced me to have sex with him or, he said, I wouldn't be allowed to be in the band anymore.
Noisey reached out to reps for Glass who said she has no further comment at this time. Glass had previously hinted at this history in interviews, telling the Verge in 2014 that Kath was "not an appropriate artist to be performing at a feminism-centric event" when the Glass-less Crystal Castles were booked for a Tumblr event. You can read the allegations in full here. We'll update this story as details emerge.
UPDATE: In a statement issued to Pitchfork via his attorney, Kath has refuted Glass's claims:
I am outraged and hurt by the recent statements made by Alice about me and our prior relationship. Her story is pure fiction and I am consulting my lawyers as to my legal options. Fortunately, there are many witnesses who can and will confirm that I was never abusive to Alice.
Have you witnessed or experienced sexual misconduct in the music industry? We want to hear from you. Contact Andrea Domanick confidentially at andrea (dot) domanick (at) vice (dot) com. PGP.