Artist News

Alice Glass accuses former Crystal Castles bandmate of decade of abuse

By | Published on Wednesday 25 October 2017

Alice Glass

Alice Glass has made a number of allegations against her former Crystal Castles bandmate Ethan Kath, real name Claudio Palmieri.

Glass parted company with her musical collaborator in 2014, with him subsequently recruiting Edith Frances as the other half of Crystal Castles. Glass, meanwhile, has pursued a solo career, putting out her debut solo EP back in August this year.

When she exited Crystal Castles in 2014, Glass wrote on Facebook: “My art and my self-expression in any form has always been an attempt towards sincerity, honesty, and empathy for others. For a multitude of reasons both professional and personal I no longer feel that this is possible within CC”.

However, in a new post on her website, Glass says that she quit the band after being on the receiving end of nearly a decade of abuse from Palmieri.

She writes: “I met ‘Ethan Kath’ (Claudio Palmieri) when I was in the tenth grade. The first time he took advantage of me was when I was around fifteen. He was ten 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”.

They subsequently began to hang out and then collaborate on making music together. Glass explains: “I was very young and naïve and in a compromised position in my life. 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”.

She alleges that in the years that followed Palmieri both sexually and physical abused her, while seeking to control many aspects of her life, and constantly playing down her role in the band. She writes: “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”.

Describing her decision to finally walk away from both Palmieri and the band that they had created, she says: “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”.

Explaining why she had decided to write this post now, three years after leaving Crystal Castles, Glass states: “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. 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”.

Responding to Glass’s post – which you can read in full here – Palmieri has denied the allegations made by his former bandmate, adding that he is consulting his lawyers about the claims made against him.

In a statement provided to Pitchfork via his attorney, he said: “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”.