Content warning: This story contains discussion of sexual abuse.
Rhye’s Michael Milosh has denied the recent allegations of grooming and sexual abuse made against him by his ex-wife, actress Alexa Nikolas, calling them “false claims” and a “character assassination”.
On March 14, Nikolas posted a lengthy five-part open letter, titled Groomed by the Groom, to her Instagram account. In it, Nikolas claimed that the musician was an ephebophile, or a person attracted to late-stage adolescent minors. She alleged that Milosh groomed her from when she was 16-years-old “for a green card, success, and sex”. Nikolas also detailed accounts of alleged physical and emotional abuse by Milosh, sharing purported screenshots of messages between her, Milosh and others.
In a statement provided to Rolling Stone, Milosh addressed Nikolas’ accusations. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve always strongly supported women and their right to speak out and be heard, that is why the false claims made by my former wife had been so hurtful and shocking to me,” he wrote.
“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.”
He continued: “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.”
In her letter, Nikolas claims that she had Skype video chat conversations with Milosh before she turned 18, alleging that: “They were all sexual and flirtatious. I can account on numerous occasions undressing upon his request.”
She also claims that Milosh invited her to visit him in Berlin on her 18th birthday, an offer she accepted. She alleges he raped her on her first night in the city, writing: “I took a shower and was on my period, which I remember feeling good about because I didn’t want to sleep with him right away. I wanted to postpone sleeping together so we could get to know one another.”
Nikolas says Milosh asked her to take her clothes off, and that she refused. “I told him no, I’m on my period, and I don’t feel comfortable. He responded saying he doesn’t care about having sex while a girl is on her period. He also said he likes the taste of blood.
“I remember feeling very uncomfortable but I was attracted to him and I did not want our first sexual experience to be spoiled. I did not respect my no and neither did he.”
Elsewhere in the letter, Nikolas alleges that when her mental health began to deteriorate shortly after the pair moved in together in 2011, Milosh “was abusive” to her, “telling me I had to get over it or I was going to become a loser as an adult.”
She also describes an alleged incident in 2015 in which she had a panic attack. During the episode, Milosh allegedly “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.”
In his statement, Milosh did not address Nikolas’ specific allegations of grooming and abuse. Her letter, he wrote, was full of “serious and demonstrable untrue accusations” and “absurd and outrageous false claims about me”.
He wrote, “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 modelling photos.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Milosh attributed the breakdown of his marriage to Nikolas to “my life as a touring musician and the pressures of travel and life on the road”. He wrote, “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 concludes his statement by 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 wrote.
“Now I am being hit with horrific and spiteful lies,” Milosh said. “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.”
Nikolas has since responded to Milosh’s statement in an Instagram post on March 17, accusing him of “denying the truth” and “utilizing money as a tool to counteract abusive behavior, as if money erases trauma”.
She wrote, “I do not need nor do I want your money, I want justice and accountability… I am speaking now because I am no longer under your financial hold for survival. You assassinated your own character a long time ago.”