On Oct. 13, Spin and Pitchfork revealed that 32-year-old Matt Mondanile — best known as the former guitarist of indie rock band Real Estate — was dismissed from the group in 2016 amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Real Estate originally announced in May 2016 that Mondanile had departed the band in order to focus on his own project Ducktails. But last week, Real Estate issued a statement to Spin, confirming they'd fired the musician over allegations of Mondanile's "unacceptable treatment of women."
Since then, eight women have accused Mondanile of touching, groping, and kissing them without their consent. The allegations span nearly a decade, and his allegedly inappropriate behavior has reportedly been whispered about among those in the indie music circle.
Seven women shared their experiences with Mondanile in a piece published by Spin today. One woman accused him of physically forcing her inside a broom closet and "aggressively kissing her" after a Real Estate show in New York City in 2013. She alleged that Mondanile later drove her to his apartment in New Jersey, where she was forced to spend the night. "I was afraid, and the entire night I was trying to stay awake," she told Spin. "It was five in the morning, and he kept trying to move closer to me, and I was moving away ... The best way I could describe it was that he was like a dog, dry-humping me."
Another woman — a classmate of Mondanile's from Hampshire College — alleged that in 2005, she woke up in the middle of the night to Mondanile groping her. “He would say, ‘I just took a Viagra, I can’t help myself,’” she told Spin. “He basically molested me in my sleep. My way of eventually dealing with that was to lock my door.”
Zoë Ligon, a Detroit-based journalist and sex educator, also tweeted, "Matt Mondanile had coercive sex w me when I was drunk."
Ligon elaborated on the experience with Uproxx today, also alleging that "Mondanile continues to victimize people mostly between the ages of 16 and 21." "I do think he’s a genuine threat to society, and every promoter and venue that continues to book him is at the point where they’re putting young women in danger," she said.
A former publicist for Mondanile confirmed to Spin that they'd ended their relationship with Ducktails due to the accusations: "When I heard these allegations I spoke with the label and told them I could no longer work with him. The label suggested they would be doing the same. The band firing came later I believe."
A representative for Domino Recordings — also the label behind Real Estate — confirmed that Mondanile is no longer signed to it. BuzzFeed News has reached out to Mondanile and Domino Recordings for comment.
Bethany Cosentino of indie rock band Best Coast has praised Real Estate for dismissing Mondanile and called the musician "an absolute creep." (Last year, Cosentino's was one voice of many accusing now-ousted indie music publicist Heathcliff Berru of sexual assault and harassment.)
The allegations against Mondanile came to light in a month where more than 30 women came forward accusing Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault.
In the wake of his scandal, women across the globe have begun sharing their own accounts of sexual assault using the phrase "Me Too," which has since become a trending hashtag.
Susan Cheng is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Susan Cheng at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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