Former Crystal Castles singer Alice Glass has come out with a statement alleging current member Ethan Kath raped and sexually assaulted her. Alice Glass left in the band back in 2014 when she said, “For a multitude of reasons both professional and personal I no longer feel that this is possible within CC.” Glass was replaced by a singer named Edith Frances.
Two years later the allegations started to trickle back. In March of 2016 Alice Glass said this to The Verge when asked about the bands inclusion in a feminist music showcase: “As someone who knew [Crystal Castles frontman] Ethan Kath on a personal and professional level, it is my opinion that he is not an appropriate artist to be performing at a feminism-centric event.” The concert Glass was referring to was the Tumblr sponsored 79 Cent Festival, named after the reported wage gap in 2014 between male and female workers in the United States. Tumblr ended up removing Crystal Castles from the lineup after enormous pressure from fans online.
After the drama from last year and amid a cultural revolution in which women are feeling empowered to call out abusers, Alice Glass is now explaining more in depth why she chose to speak out and leave the band. The singer released a long statement today on her website saying that she was abused for years by co-founder Ethan Kath saying, “I met “Ethan Kath” (Claudio Palmieri) when I was in the 10th grade. 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.”
“Claudio was very manipulative towards me,” Glass added. “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.”
The singer also went on to address her decision to leave the band saying, “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.”
Perhaps the most serious allegations are that Kath raped her before they became Crystal Castles. “Over a period of many months,” Glass states, “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.
Later in the statement she describes the environment in which she was subjected to while recording music with Kath as Crystal Castles. According to her statement, the sound engineer sexually harrassed her and her bandmate just laughed, pressuring her to go along with it.
According to Glass, even what many would argue is the band’s most well-known and perhaps best song, “Alice Practice,” was a manipulation by Kath. “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.”
After that song blew the band into the stratosphere of indie music, things continued to spiral according to Glass. Kath convinced her to drop out of high school (just two credits shy of graduation), controlled her eating habits, who she could communicate with, what she was allowed to wear and more. Her statement includes allegations that he would physically intimidate her by breaking glass shower doors, berated and yelled at her, and told her that because she was a feminist she was a target for rapists and only Kath could keep her safe.
Perhaps most tragic for those that enjoyed Crystal Castles first few albums with Glass is the following excerpt:
“I was miserable and my lyrics indirectly spoke to the pain and oppression that I was enduring. But as is sometimes the case in abusive relationships, his cruelty was often followed by kindness. He was very good at keeping his terrible treatment of me private. He was charming sometimes, he was hyper protective and most of all I loved the band we had together. But he often told me how replaceable I was. He’d even tell me that he was actively looking for someone to replace me. He kept me insecure and on edge, and then would tell me that he was the only one it the world that believed in me. He told me it was us against everyone, because everyone else thought I was a loser, a joke, a talentless dancing clown. I believed him. I was suicidal for years.”
In addition her alleged psychological and emotional abuse, she states that he physically abused her (besides the accusations of rape and sexual assault earlier in the statement). She states that he picked her up over his shoulders and threw her to the ground, and later posted pictures of her bruises online.
Kath has sent Pitchfork a response statement via his attorney. “I am outraged and hurt by the recent statements made by Alice about me and our prior relationship,” he said. “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.”
Alice Glass is now a solo artist, check out her new EP.
Photo Credit: Marv Watson