Last week, Real Estate revealed that their former guitarist, Matt Mondanile, departed the band in February 2016 due to “allegations of unacceptable treatment of women.” Back then, the band claimed Mondanile was leaving to work on his side project, Ducktails. On Monday, October 16, Spin published a detailed account of sexual misconduct accusations from multiple women, some of whom claimed that Mondanile forcibly kissed them or groped them in their sleep.
Today, Mondanile’s attorneys have shared a doozy of a statement with Pitchfork, which is almost breathtaking in how it see-saws between taking accountability and implicitly calling his alleged victims liars.
Early on, Mondanile calls himself an “insensitive creep” and apologizes for his past behavior. “I am endlessly sorry for my inappropriate behavior. I took advantage of my position as a musician, though I never intended to hurt anyone emotionally or otherwise,” he writes. Then, his legal team seems to suggest that a majority of the accusations are false and defamatory:
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.
Later, in that same paragraph, there’s an awkwardly phrased section about how Mondanile has been “far from sensitive in his pursuit of women,” due to his “eagerness for physical contact and gratification.” Oh, but despite this, his lawyers still attempt to maintain his innocence: “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,” the statement reads.
Finally, Mondanile’s attorneys allege that the guitarist signed an exit agreement with Real Estate, which barred all members and former bandmates from speaking negatively of the other party in public. According to Mondanile’s attorneys, it didn’t protect the victims, but instead protected the other bandmates’ careers by “sidestepping the controversy to protect the band’s commercial viability”:
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.
We have reached out to a representative for Real Estate for comment, and will update this post if we hear back.