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Alice Glass says Crystal Castles Ethan Kath abused her

The musician detailed her harrowing experience of emotional, physical and sexual manipulation and assault at the hands of her former bandmate

Alice Glass, musician and co-founder of Crystal Castles, has released a detailed statement that outlines “almost a decade of abuse, manipulation and psychological control” by ex-bandmate Ethan Kath – real name Claudio Palmieri.

Glass states that the abuse began when she was 15-years-old and he was several years her senior. She states that after years of torment, it was the catalyst that made her leave the electronic group.

“Claudio was very manipulative towards me,” she writes. “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….”

The musician detailed sexual, mental and physical control by Kath. “As we started to gain attention, he abusively and systematically targeting my insecurities and controlling my behaviour: 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 (also) became physically abusive. He 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 controlled everything I did.”

She continued with details of how he read her private emails, regulated what she ate and what friends she had, controlled her phone and credit card, and forced her into sex with the threat that if she didn’t, she “wouldn’t be allowed to be in the band anymore”. Her statement also describes major elements of abusive relationships, where he would reel her in with “kindness” and keep his mistreatment of her “private”.

Glass wrote about the abuse of power Kath exhibited as an older man in music, a position he used to manipulate her. “I was very young and naive and in a compromised position in my life,” she explains. “I perceived him as a local rock star because I had seen his band, Kill Cheerleader, on TV. A lot of my friends from the punk scene had also been taken advantage of by much older men, so to me, it was a situation that had been normalised.”

This gender power dynamic resonates with recent news surrounding sexual harassment and abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein and other men in creative industries.

Glass continued by relaying that leaving Crystal Castles “was the single most difficult decision I’ve ever made”.

“That band was everything to me,” she says. “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.”

What also arises in her statement is that she has opened up about her past experiences of abuse. Previously, Glass has talked about an abusive relationship, but never publicly gave names. She adds in this recent note she was threatened and harassed for speaking out.

Glass left the band in 2014, citing a “multitude of reasons” – Kath continued the project with new singer Edith Frances. It was well known that the bandmates ended on negative terms, with Kath taking a personal swipe at Glass and her new creative venture.

“The momentum that’s been created recently by the many courageous women who have opened up about their own stories has inspired me to finally be more direct, at whatever cost,” she continues. “This is for my own recovery, for the other women who have been, are currently, or may be in a similar situation with the man who abused me for years, and for those in abusive relationships who are looking to stand up and speak out.”

We extend solidarity to Alice Glass and everyone who has spoken out about their experiences, as well as those silenced by abusers.