Rhye frontman Michael Milosh has responded to accusations of sexual abuse, assault and grooming made by his ex-wife, actress Alexa Nikolas. Milosh released the statement to Rolling Stone on Wednesday, in response to a five-part open letter Nikolas posted to Instagram titled “Groomed by the Groom.”
In her open letter, Nikolas accused Milosh of being an ephebophile – a person primarily attracted to teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 – and claimed that the Canadian musician groomed her for “a green card, success, and sex.” She also accused him of physical abuse, claiming that after experiencing an anxiety attack, Milosh “charged at me, picked me up, pushed me on the couch, and pressed his forearm into my throat and continually screamed, ‘shut the fuck up, shut the fuck up, shut the fuck up!’ I couldn’t breathe.”
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always strongly supported women and their right to speak out and be heard,” Milosh wrote. “That is why the false claims made by my former wife had been so hurtful and shocking to me … Like all marriages, we had our difficulties and attempted to weather them together as best we could. Ultimately, despite our best efforts, we agreed to divorce. I loved her very much and we shared many special years before our marriage ended. I have always wished her nothing but the best and continued to support her financially even after I was no longer required to under our divorce agreement. Eventually, I stopped paying [and] in response, Alexa has resorted to character assassination.”
Milosh referred to Nikolas’ Instagram letter as full of “serious and demonstrable untrue accusations” and “absurd and outrageous false claims about me.” Milosh did not address Nikolas’ claims that he had “groomed” her while she was still an underage teenager, allegedly asking her to undress for him over Skype video chat and repeatedly attempting to meet her in person. He also did not address the specific incidents of physical and sexual abuse that Nikolas alleged in her letter.
“Alexa came to Berlin several months after her 18th birthday and we spent a week hanging out enjoying the city taking photographs that she eventually used as her IMDb listing headshot and modeling photos,” Milosh recalled. “We fell in love. I visited the following fall and she lived with me in Berlin the following summer but ultimately said she couldn’t live in Germany as her career and life were based in Los Angeles so I moved to Los Angeles for love, for her, for us. This is a story that has been documented extensively around the release of my first record. Our art photography collaborations continued before and during our marriage, we had a gallery exhibition of the photos I took of Alexa and she was proudly featured on the cover of my album. I’ve done many interviews about my songs, the lyrics and what inspired them many about love relationships and sensuality.”
He went on: “My life as a touring musician and the pressures of travel and life on the road ultimately took its toll on our marriage and I’m sorry she came to feel my professional life has had a negative impact on her and our life together. Alexa had her own demons and I did my best to be a good husband in trying to overcome them. In the end, we could not help each other.”
Milosh ended his statement claiming that Nikolas’ accusations are “outrageously false and the manipulated stories provably untrue.” “I’ve tried to be supportive and help out when repeatedly asked but at a certain point, I was not able to provide any additional financial support; things seemed to have taken an abrupt change thereafter,” he says. “Now I am being hit with horrific and spiteful lies. I reiterate that these accusations are outrageously false and the manipulated stories provably untrue. I’m fully prepared to cooperate with any independent investigation into these false claims and look forward to being cleared of all the shameless mirrors.”