Alice Glass says Crystal Castles bandmate sexually abused her from the age of 15

News 25/10/2017

Alice Glass teamed up with Ethan Kath and fronted their duo Crystal Castles from 2006 when their breakthrough single 'Alice Practice' became a spiritual awakening for 90's babies, an anthemic intiation into sex, drugs and electro.

After eight years, and three albums, in 2014 Alice Glass left Crystal Castles for "personal and professional reasons".

She hinted towards her bandmate's abusive behaviour in an interview back then, simply saying Ethan Kath was "not an appropriate artist to be performing at a feminism-centric event."

Now, finally Alice Glass feels empowered enough to speak up, attributing "the many courageous women who have opened up about their own stories" to inspiring her to gather up the courage to share some heartbreaking honesty.

Alice was notorious for appearing intoxicated on stage and fans initially attributed her leaving the duo to her addiction problems.  

However, Alice's blogpost details the abuse she faced (from the age of just 15) at the hands of her bandmate Kath, putting a much darker perspective on the talented singer's life... and her music.

I was miserable and my lyrics indirectly spoke to the pain and oppression that I was enduring.

Alice Glass writes: 

"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.

He tracked me down and showed up places I was hanging out and we eventually reconnected. I was very young and naive and in a compromised position in my life." 

"Claudio was very manipulative towards me. 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."

She reveals how even in their music, there was abuse.

"When I was 16 or 17 he gave me a CD of songs and asked me to write and sing over them. I took the songs home and wrote lyrics and melodies and we recorded the tracks I liked. But even with music, he created a toxic environment that I often felt I had to go along with. While recording our first EP, the recording engineer sexually harassed me while we were in the studio. 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."

"As we started to gain attention, he 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."

Alice goes into further detail into the physical and psychological abuse. 

"He 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 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. More severe psychological and emotional abuse took its place."

"He controlled everything I did. 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."

She goes on to explain how leaving Crystal Castles was the most difficult decision she's ever made. And how after almost a decade of abuse, she is stilll now recovering.

You can read her full allegations here.