Last year, Ducktails songwriter and former Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile was the subject of multiple articles outing him for sexual misconduct. His history with women was revealed to be the reason for his firing from Real Estate, and the fallout included canceled tour dates and his music being removed from streaming services. At the time, Mondanile released a short statement calling himself an “insensitive creep” while his legal team was more verbose and less apologetic.
Now, several months later and far deeper into the #metoo movement, Mondanile has offered up a much more lengthy statement via his Facebook. In it, he discusses the emotional abuse he inflicted upon his ex-girlfriend, the marvelous musician Julia Holter, and goes into detail about the end of his time with Real Estate. He notes that he has since donated to RAIIN (including a receipt for his pledge) and that he has continually sought therapy for his actions for years.
Mondanile also raises the point that he has essentially been isolated from society for the past several months, saying, “I don’t believe that abusers should be cut off and abandoned from public life. I believe that people have the ability to change and better themselves and should be able to integrate back into society.” He also takes some shots at the competitive nature of the websites that published the accusations against him. You can read the full statement below.
I have donated some money to RAINN. I know it’s not a very large amount and it won’t directly help any of the pain I’ve caused through my actions but I’m doing it nonetheless. Until now, I haven’t felt the clarity I’ve needed to publicly discuss my past behavior in my own words and will now do so.
I was previously in a relationship with Julia Holter. At points during the relationship and after it ended I acted immaturely and irresponsibly harassing her for her own well deserved success and life decisions. After we broke up I immediately sought out therapy for my obsessive behavior towards her. While I was in therapy and coping with my obsession for many months I wrote her rude and angry emails offending her and commented negatively about her success on her Instagram. Eventually I sent her an email apologizing for my rash and disturbing behavior. I then received a letter from her lawyers demanding that I stop contacting her. I feel incredible regret for the way I acted and I am embarrassed by my behavior. I am so sorry to Julia for the pain and frustration I’ve caused her.
I continued to attend therapy and early the following year received a call from Martin Courtney and Alex Bleeker my former bandmates. They told me that they didn’t want to record the next Real Estate album with me for a few different reasons. I didn’t want to tour, I lived far away from them, and because of my treatment of women. I had previously gotten into an argument with Martin concerning one of the songs I’d written for the Atlas album. I wanted the song to be on the album and Martin didn’t and we got into a big argument, this enraged me and I said offensive things to him that I regret. At the time they asked me to leave the band, we weren’t friends and we had artistic differences. I wanted to record the next album in my studio in LA that I was setting up. “Just the three of us” I insisted because I didn’t feel creatively comfortable working with Jackson Pollis who disliked and judged me because of my past behavior with women.
Feeling confused and distraught about my situation I continued to see a therapist and discussed my past behavior with her. I talked about my impulsive behavior on tour and at home, my reputation which was consistently growing worse and worse. After two years in therapy I was eventually able to work on an album. I continued to seek therapy and moved back home to live with my Mom to finish the album. On this album in many of the songs I reference my behavior, what I lost from my irresponsible actions and my views on it. Upon finishing the album I booked a world tour to promote the music. The day after finishing a European run of shows I received an email from Marc Hogan at Pitchfork. In the email he was referring to a tweet saying that I was a sexual predator. He asked why this was tweeted and informed me that an article was being written about me for Spin Magazine and that he wanted to beat the Spin writer to the chase and be the first to write about my behavior publicly. I pleaded with him to not write the article because I had so much life to live. At this point I felt the years of therapy I had gone through had helped me grow from my past mistakes and irresponsible behavior. I felt confident I had moved passed this dark period of my life and could continue to explore my life long passion of recording and performing music.
After the Spin article with the allegations was released I was shocked about many of the instances written about me. I had either forgotten or neglected to remember these occurrences in my past life. I knew that I had been single for long periods of time in my adult life and pursued sexual experiences quite often but never fully realized how little empathy I had towards the opposite sex in sexual situations. Since my public shaming I have continued to see a therapist and lived a relatively private and insular life. I will continue to seek therapy and do my best to live responsibly while having a greater awareness on how my actions effect others.
A few months of time has passed since I experienced this public shaming and I now feel able to publicly discuss a few opinions I have regarding the matter. First off, I never considered myself a misognyist or sexual predator. Some of my best friends are former girlfriends of mine. I’ve released many albums by female artists on my label and worked hard to get their music distributed well and reviewed by music publications over the past six years. Second, I’ve lost countless friends from my behavior and more since I was publicly outed. I am so thankful for the people that have stuck by me during this time and I don’t agree with the social isolation caused by public shaming on the internet. When I was kicked out of Real Estate, it was done over the phone, it caught me off guard and I never got the chance to fully discuss my behavior with my former best childhood friends Martin and Alex. I haven’t seen the members of Real Estate for over three years. I don’t know if I will ever see them or talk to some former friends of mine ever again. I don’t believe that abusers should be cut off and abandoned from public life. I believe that people have the ability to change and better themselves and should be able to integrate back into society.
I never wanted to hurt anyone in my life, I’ve always considered myself a social person and I have been and always will be incredibly grateful to have the blessed opportunity to record and perform music around the world. My passion is to create music and unfortunately my own irresponsible behavior has severely ruined my life long pursuit and dream. I’m far from being a perfect person and I have made many stupid mistakes in my life but I am now fully aware of myself and feel confident that I will never make any of these mistakes again. For any of the women I’ve directly caused pain to I am once again incalculably sorry.