Rhye’s Michael Milosh Hit With Suit Over Alleged Abuse, Grooming of Alexa Nikolas

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Rhye Perform In Berlin - Credit: Frank Hoensch/Redferns/Getty Images
Rhye Perform In Berlin - Credit: Frank Hoensch/Redferns/Getty Images

Actress Alexa Nikolas, the ex-wife of Rhye frontman Michael Milosh, has filed a complaint against the musician over his alleged abuse and grooming of her, The AV Club reports.

The suit claims that Milosh “utilized his power of authority and seniority over [Nikolas], as well as years of sexual grooming of [Nikolas] as a minor child, to manipulate her into trusting him. Upon gaining her trust, Defendant Milosh terrorized, sodomized, and abused [Nikolas] as part of his continuous conduct aimed at satisfying his prurient and economic desires.”

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The suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, specifically accuses Milosh of sexual battery, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, violation of California’s Tom Bane Civil Rights Act, and negligence. It also claims that Milosh was enabled by record labels, management companies, and other corporate entities that “support[ed] him financially and ratif[ied] his misconduct despite knowledge that Nikolas was a minor and continuing to suffer abuse even after the age of majority.”

“Sadly, Alexa’s story is not an outlier,” said Karen Menzies of Gibbs Law Group, an attorney for Nikolas. “We continue to see predators in the music industry use their celebrity and influence to target women, especially underage girls. In many cases, management companies, record labels and promoters turn a blind eye, and even enable or participate to protect their financial interests and investment. This is a systemic failure, and we hope to see more survivors like Alexa gaining the courage to speak out to hold perpetrators accountable when the music industry has failed to do so.”

A representative for Milosh did not immediately return a request for comment.

The claims in the lawsuit largely echo the ones Nikolas made public on Instagram in March (Milosh issued a statement in response denying the allegations). For instance, she accuses Milosh of making her undress on Skype while she was still a minor and sexually assaulting her the first time they spent the night together.

The lawsuit also claims that Rhye’s fourth album, 2013’s Jetlag, featured recordings of Nikolas during sex, including one of her saying “no” when Milosh allegedly tried to anally penetrate her. At an album release party, the suit says, Milosh showcased large, nude photographs of Nikolas, who claims she did not consent to the use of these photos in public.

“Milosh proudly told attendees of the party that they were listening to Nikolas during coerced anal sex throughout his entire album,” the suit reads. “Not surprisingly, Milosh did not disclose to his guests that he obtained these recordings when Nikolas was highly intoxicated and incapable of refusing. Nikolas’ own mother left the party in disgust.”

The lawsuit then notes the presence at the party of people from the labels Innovative Leisure, Polydor, and Loma Vista, as well as the publicity firm Biz3 and KCRW Public Radio; these individuals, the suit says, had “prior knowledge of the foundation of the deceitful relationship which was rooted in childhood sexual assault. On information and belief, these industry professionals lauded Milosh in his ‘art’ with reckless disregard to the severe psychological damage suffered by Nikolas.”

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