Artist News

Ducktails’ Matt Mondanile issues statement on sexual assault allegations

By | Published on Monday 23 October 2017

Matt Mondanile

Ducktails’ Matt Mondanile has responded to allegations of sexual misconduct while he was a member of indie band Real Estate. His lawyer has also criticised his former bandmates, saying that they breached a ‘leaving agreement’ by commenting on the accusations.

As previously reported, when Mondanile left Real Estate in May 2016, a statement from the band said it was in order for him to concentrate on his Ducktails project. However, following an exposé by Spin earlier this month, the band said in a statement: “Matt Mondanile was fired in February 2016 when allegations of unacceptable treatment of women were brought to our attention”.

Mondanile initially told Pitchfork that he had “done nothing wrong at all”. However, following a further article from Spin in which several women detailed their experiences, in a new statement given to Pitchfork the musician admits to “inappropriate behaviour” and being an “insensitive creep”.

In the statement, issued via his lawyers, Mondanile says: “I am endlessly sorry for my inappropriate behaviour. I took advantage of my position as a musician, though I never intended to hurt anyone emotionally or otherwise. I’ve been an insensitive creep and again I apologise to everyone and anyone who was affected by this”.

He continues: “I respect and commend the women who have come forward. Their breaking silence has compelled me to seek a more intense course of self-reflection, and personal development. I make no excuses for my behaviour, I only want everyone to be OK. Words cannot convey how truly sorry I am”.

His lawyers add that Mondanile has asked them not to say anything “that blames or casts aspersions upon his accusers” despite “much of what has been written and talked about [being] false and defamatory”.

“Matt realises that in his eagerness for physical contact and gratification, he has been far from sensitive in his pursuit of women”, the statement goes on. “However, Matt’s attorneys insist that it should be known that for each of the instances described in the media and online, there are two sides to these stories”.

All of which skirts very close to the victim blaming and aspersion casting that Mondanile apparently doesn’t want to occur. And while there are indeed two sides to every story, Spin’s most recent article includes accounts from several women which span around a decade (some pre-dating his time as a member of Real Estate) and have a number of common themes.

The lawyers also have some strong words for Real Estate, saying: “The band required Matt to sign a leaving agreement in February 2016 that prohibits both him and the band members from making any negative or derogatory statements about the other, or that may negatively affect the other’s reputation and career. In violating the terms of the agreement, Real Estate band members were not ‘protecting the victims’, they were instead protecting themselves by sidestepping the controversy to protect the band’s commercial viability”.

In responding to the complaint that they broke the 2016 agreement, the band might want to bring up a September interview with New York Daily News in which Mondanile said of working solo: “It’s way easy for me to just do anything I want and not have to do the lame stuff I would have to do with [Real Estate]”. But you could argue that would be a bit petty. They have not as yet responded at all.