Sargent House’s Cathy Pellow Steps Down After Abuse Allegations Surface Online
Over the weekend, a major shift within prominent record label Sargent House took place, as owner Cathy Pellow announced she’d be taking a step back from the company after being the focal point for abuse allegations.
Everything kicked off when musician Henry Kohen, also known as Mylets, released a video statement last week via social media that outlined the abuse he allegedly dealt with. Among his allegations were instances of being belittled and treated poorly by Pellow, as well as an incident where he was reportedly molested by an associate of the label in 2015.
“I witnessed routine extreme degradation and verbal abuse of employees and artists, intentional belittling and manipulation leading to rivalries and insecurities within the artist-base, blatant and even proudly misogynistic language surrounding the ‘acquisition’ of emotionally-vulnerable female artists, purposeful withholding of financial information except when making vague allusions to how indebted the artists were to her, open disdain for the fan bases of bands, forceful and targeted breaking of artists and employee’s personal boundaries, and an all-encompassing process of ‘othering’ that instilled a constant feeling of paranoia.”
In the days following Kohen’s allegations, artists began distancing themselves from the label, including Lingua Ignota and Chelsea Wolfe.
Pellow eventually put out a statement over the weekend where she expressed contrition in light of the allegations, directly apologizing to Kohen and anyone else she might have hurt over the years. She also said in her statement that she didn’t realize how hurtful she was during that time and said sobriety has allowed her to try to “become a better person and correct my past mistakes.”
“I have been trying to gather the right words to say in light of a recent video uploaded to social media by an artist I formerly managed named Henry Kohen in which he shared some experiences during his time living at my office / home.
“To Henry, I sincerely apologize and had no idea how much my words and actions hurt you. I have sent you a private message that further expresses my regret about the events that impacted you. If you choose to share that message publicly, that is of course your decision to make.
“I also want to apologize to any past employees or artists who have been negatively impacted by my actions. I’ve been too oblivious and unaware of the harm that my behavior had caused, I know that doesn’t excuse the facts and I take responsibility for any pain I brought to those around me. I feel ashamed and am truly remorseful.
“I want to do right by those I have let down and I am open and welcoming to anyone who would be willing to have a conversation with me. I see now how offensive I was to a lot of people, but I am human and hopefully deserving of a chance to make amends.
“Sobriety has been really important to me in recent years, especially during and after the pandemic. I do not expect to gain any sympathy from anyone, but I am no longer the person I used to be, and I am striving to become a better person and correct my past mistakes. With that in mind, I have closed the management side and will be stepping away from Sargent House to focus on the things I can do to fix these issues and take care of my own mental health.
“I am the only one that can account for my actions, so I ask that people direct their anger or disappointment towards me and not toward any of the artists associated past or present. I hope fans of the music released through Sargent House can separate my shortcomings from the work done for and by the artists that we all love and cherish, they should not take any blame for this.
“There is a lot of work ahead and I am only beginning this process. I have created a personal Instagram account @cathyp_1656 so that I can continue the conversations without being a distraction to the artists and people that continue to do amazing work at Sargent House.”
As a result of everything that’s happened over the last few days, Pellow announced she was walking away from the management side of things and the label as a whole to try to make things right.
In the wake of Pellow’s announcement, Botch and Russian Circles bassist Brian Cook said he’d been “living in the most convoluted and crappy soap opera this last week.” Cook also said that people should try to withhold judgement until they know everything.
“Hi. I’ve been a Sargent House artist for 17 years. I’m friends with a bunch of the artists & employees past and present. I know who’s slept with who, who’s mad at who, who lied to who, who has been privately talking to who… I know so much petty drama and dirt that you don’t.
“Cathy can be blunt and uncouth, but I’ve never witnessed anything warranting public outrage. Maybe I’m just lucky. Conversely, I’ve seen her routinely bail people out of bad situations. She’s housed people, paid medical bills, co-signed mortgages, talked people off of ledges.
“In many instances, I know why certain people were let go and why other people have chosen to leave over the years. Sometimes the private grievances don’t line up with the public explanations. But I’m not privy to any scandals.
“I know which shit adds up and which shit doesn’t. And I still don’t know what the hell is actually going on, but I know people fear internet mobs more than anything right now. So if you want a public statement, here it is:
“I applaud people for being angry given the information they have at hand. But if I don’t know what’s actually going on, then consider that maybe you don’t have the full picture either. And I’m not casting stones until I know who I can actually trust in this mess.
“Sorry for the cryptic thread. Been living in the most convoluted and crappy soap opera this last week and I’m just trying to assume the best about all my friends in this situation, but a bunch of shit isn’t lining up.”