Alice Glass, the former half of duo Crystal Castles, has detailed in a lengthy statement that she left the band because of band member Ethan Kath’s physical and psychological abuse.
In her statement, posted to her website, Glass writes that she first met Kath (real name Claudio Palmieri) when she was just 15 years old. She writes:
The first time he took advantage of me was when I was around 15. He was 10 years older than me. I came to in the back of his car extremely intoxicated (from drinks he had given me that night). We didn’t talk for months after that. He went to great lengths to find me again, stalking me and driving past my high school looking for me.
Glass writes that Kath was “very manipulative” towards her, writing that he exploited her insecurities, gave her drugs and alcohol, and had sex with her that “wasn’t always consensual.”
Glass writes that Kath downplayed her contributions when Crystal Castles began. When she was “16 or 17" she says he gave her a CD of songs and asked her to write and sing over them, eventually calling the band’s first single “Alice Practice” and claiming that her vocals were a “mic test.” “He concocted that story and told press it was an ‘accidental’ recording, intentionally diminishing my role in its creation,” Glass writes. “It was another way of putting me down and preying on my insecurities.”
Glass also writes that Kath was physically abusive, threatening to throw her down a staircase, throwing her down on concrete, taking pictures of her bruises and posting them online. He also “controlled everything I did,” she writes:
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.
Glass first announced she was leaving Crystal Castles in 2014, telling fans that she was pursuing a solo career. “Leaving Crystal Castles was the single most difficult decision I’ve ever made—that band was everything to me,” Glass writes. “I gave that up and started over not because I wanted to but because I had to.”
When Kath released a new song “Frail” in 2015 under the Crystal Castles moniker he included a statement in which he wrote that Glass’s new project “should be rewarding for her considering she didn’t appear on Crystal Castles’ best known songs.” Glass, who was replaced by singer Edith Frances, at the time wrote on Twitter that “manipulative statements about my contributions to the band only reinforce the decision I made to move on to other things.” That same year Glass released “Stillbirth,” posting a statement on Twitter alluding to an abusive relationship but not naming Kath.
Jezebel has reached out to Crystal Castles for comment and will update this post if they respond.
Update, 10/25/17: Kath has responded to Glass’s post, sending Pitchfork this statement via his attorney:
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.
Update, 10/26/17: Consequence of Sound reports that several upcoming Crystal Castles shows have been canceled following the allegations.