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October 17, 2017

7 women accuse N.J. musician, ex-Real Estate guitarist of sexual misconduct

A New Jersey native and founding member of the indie rock band Real Estate has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women over a period spanning about a decade, according to a pair of reports from SPIN and Pitchfork.

Allegations against Matt Mondanile, currently a solo artist under the name Ducktails, were brought forward this week by seven women who described being groped, kissed or otherwise touched by the guitarist without their consent.

Real Estate, now a festival headliner, formed out of Ridgewood in 2009. The band dismissed Mondanile in February 2016 when allegations of his misconduct were "brought to our attention," the group told SPIN when pressed for comment.

Several of the women's accounts involve Mondanile allegedly touching them while they slept, in some cases after shows in various cities. Two women said Mondanile, now 32, pushed them into a broom closet and a bathroom, respectively, and forcibly kissed them against their will.

Best Coast songwriter Bethany Cosentino, in advance of the SPIN story, tweeted that Mondanile "was an absolute creep" and said she supported Real Estate's decision to remove him from the band.

Current members of Real Estate said they did not provide a reason for Mondanile's exit at the time out of respect for the privacy requests of his accusers.

The story comes amid the ongoing fallout of sexual harassment allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has since been fired from his own company and stripped of his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

The ensuing #MeToo social media campaign has surfaced thousands of statements from women around the world to raise awareness of sexual harassment and assault

Mondanile, who has not been charged with any crime, recently finished a European tour and has dates scheduled across the United States in the coming months, including in Philadelphia.

Read the full SPIN story here.