Alice Glass Accuses Crystal Castles Bandmate Ethan Kath of Rape and Years of Abuse

"He forced me to have sex with him or, he said, I wouldn't be allowed to be in the band anymore"

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Oct 24, 2017

Back in 2014, Alice Glass announced she had left Toronto electronic duo Crystal Castles "for a multitude of reasons both professional and personal," with the split taking a sour turn as she and former bandmate Ethan Kath traded statements in 2015. Now, Glass has alleged that she was subjected to "almost a decade of abuse, manipulation and psychological control" by Kath, who she also has accused of rape.

In a statement published to her website, Glass (born Margaret Osborn) writes that Kath (born Claudio Palmieri) first took advantage of her while she was in tenth grade, while he was 10 years her senior. After not speaking for months afterwards, Glass writes that "he went to great lengths to find me again, stalking me and driving past my high school looking for me."

"Claudio was very manipulative towards me," the statement continues. "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."

Glass also touches on working with Kath as Crystal Castles, writing that "even with music, he created a toxic environment that I often felt I had to go along with." She adds that "the recording engineer sexually harassed me while we were in the studio," recording their debut EP, adding that "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."

Glass writes that, as the duo began to gain more notoriety, Kath "began abusively and systematically targeting my insecurities and controlling my behavior: my eating habits, who I could talk to, where I could go, what I could say in public, what I was allowed to wear. He kept me from doing interviews or photoshoots unless he was in control of the situation. Our fame grew in Crystal Castles but he didn't feel he was getting the recognition he thought he deserved."

Glass also alleges physical abuse, writing about the time Kath "held me over a staircase and threatened to throw me down it. He picked me up over his shoulders and threw me onto concrete. He took pictures of my bruises and posted them online. I tried to leave, and he swore that it would never happen again, that he would never physically abuse me again." 

Writing that "more severe psychological and emotional abuse took its place," Glass alleges that Kath "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."

In closing, Glass write, "Leaving Crystal Castles was the single most difficult decision I've ever made — that band was everything to me. My music, my performances and my fans were all I had in the world. I gave that up and started over not because I wanted to but because I had to. As difficult as it was, I knew that leaving was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It has taken me years to recover from enduring almost a decade of abuse, manipulation and psychological control. I am still recovering."

You can read her entire statement here. As of press time, Kath has not publicly responded to the very serious allegations.

UPDATE (10/24, 6:50 p.m EDT): In a statement to Pitchfork, Kath has now responded to Glass' claims. In a statement through his lawyers, he writes, "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." He's also cancelled all Crystal Castles' upcoming tour dates. You can learn more here.

Glass released a self-titled solo EP in August.

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