Back in 2016, indie rock band Real Estate announced that guitarist Matthew Mondanile was leaving the band, ostensibly to focus on his side project, Ducktails.
On Friday, however, the band issued a statement revealing the truth: Mondanile was kicked out of the band due to the accusations of numerous women who claim the guitarist groped, kissed and fondled them inappropriately, without their permission.
“Matt Mondanile was fired in February 2016 when allegations of unacceptable treatment of women were brought to our attention,” reads the statement from the band. “While we urged him to seek counselling at the time of termination, we are no longer in contact. We feel that any abuse of one’s power or status to victimize another is completely unacceptable. We applaud the courage of the women who came forward to make us aware so that we could address the issue head on.”
According to SPIN, a former publicist confirms that he or she ended the relationship with Mondanile upon learning of the multiple accusations.
“When I heard these allegations I spoke with the label and told them I could no longer work with him,” the publicist told SPIN. “The label suggested they would be doing the same. The band firing came later I believe. That was the end of my dealings with him. We never had contact again. He unfollowed me on social media, etc.”
SPIN also reached out to Domino Recordings, Real Estate’s label, to ask if whether the allegations were the reason that Ducktails was dropped from the roster. “A Domino representative confirmed that Mondanile is no longer signed to the label,” notes SPIN, “but declined to speak on the record about the circumstances of his departure.”
Following the revelation, Mondanile’s lawyers have issued a statement to Pitchfork regarding his dismissal from the band and the allegations of the women, in which he admits to some “inappropriate behaviour” and acting like an “insensitive creep.” Here’s the statement in its entirety:
Recently, there have been allegations and articles circulating regarding Musician Matthew Mondanile’s past conduct toward women. This statement, issued through his attorneys, is intended as a general response to what has been written.
First and foremost, Matt would like to apologize: “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 apologize to everyone and anyone who was affected by this. 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.”
Despite Matt’s attorneys’ legal analysis of the allegations, Matt has insisted that nothing be said that blames or casts aspersions upon his accusers. Much of what has been written and talked about is false and defamatory. Nonetheless, Matthew accepts responsibility for his less than exemplary behaviour. Matt realizes that in his eagerness for physical contact and gratification, he has been far from sensitive in his pursuit of women. 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.
Regarding Real Estate, 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.