In a statement on her personal website, Crystal Castles co-founder and former singer Alice Glass has accused her former bandmate—and other Crystal Castles co-founder—Ethan Kath of abuse. Glass left the band in 2014, saying it was for “a multitude of reasons both professional and personal,” but this is the first time she’s given a specific indication of what those reasons were.
In her post, she explains that she met Kath—whose real name is Claudio Palmieri—when she was in high school. He’s 10 years older than her, and she was 15 the first time he allegedly “took advantage” of her, with Glass explaining that he gave her alcohol and she later woke up in the back of his car. She says he stalked her after that, but it all seemed normal to her because a lot of her other friends had been abused by older men and he seemed like a local rock star.
Glass says he was “very manipulative” toward her, allegedly exploiting her insecurities and giving her drugs and alcohol so he could have sex with her even though “it wasn’t always consensual.” Once they started the band, Glass says she was sexually harassed in the studio, and though he asked her to write lyrics and melodies over the instrumentations he had written, he later played off her contributions in public like an “accidental” recording, emphasizing his role in Crystal Castle’s music.
Kath allegedly forced her to drop out of high school just short of graduation, and as the band got bigger, he allegedly started to control her eating habits, who she could talk to, where she could go, and what she was allowed to do in public. Glass also accuses him of being physically abusive, saying he once held her over a set of stairs and threatened to throw her down and also that he once picked her up over his head and dropped her on concrete. He also allegedly told her that she was easily replaceable and that everyone in the world thought she was a loser, which Glass says made her “suicidal for years.”
Glass adds that leaving Crystal Castles was “the single most difficult decision” she had ever made, but also “one of the best decisions” she’s ever made. About a year after Glass left the band, Kath brought Crystal Castles back with a new—weirdly mysterious—singer named Edith Frances.