The momentum of women coming forward about their experiences with sexual assault has inspired Alice Glass to do the same, sharing today a written account of abuse by Crystal Castles co-founder Ethan Kath (real name: Claudio Palmieri).
"I've been very guarded about the information I've given and I haven't publicly named names--because I've been afraid," Glass opens, crediting other courageous survivors for her ability to now be publicly honest. "I've been threatened and harassed and as a result, out of fear, I've been silenced."
She continues, describing her earliest memories with Kath's abuse when she in 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."
Once Kath tracked her down, Glass says he discovered her insecurities and exploited them--behavior that felt normal in the local punk scene, where older men often took advantage of Glass' friends. "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."
As Crystal Castles rose in success, Glass recalls being pressured to drop out of high school only two credits away from graduation. The more attention their band received, the more Kath would privately abuse Glass, controlling her behavior, from eating habits to friends and social media. "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."
Kath's control eventually became physical, leaving Glass bruised. "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." As is occasionally the case in abusive relationships, Glass adds that "his cruelty was often followed by kindness [...] He was charming sometimes, he was hyper protective and most of all I loved the band we had together."
To keep Glass on edge, Kath would tell her she was replaceable, and painted a reality where he was her only fan. "He told me it was us against everyone, becuase everyone else thought I was a loser, a joke, a talentless dancing clown. I believed him. I was suicidal for years."
Still, leaving Crystal Castles was the "single most difficult decision" Glass has ever made. "That band was everything to me," she writes. "My music, my performances and my fans were all I had in the world." Now with a successful solo career and debut self-titled EP, Glass says "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."
Read Alice Glass' full account, here.