'Zoey 101' Star Alexa Nikolas Sues Ex-Husband Michael Milosh, Alleging Abuse and 'Sexual Grooming'

The actress claims her musician ex “terrorized, sodomized, and abused” her throughout their relationship

Alexa Nikolas and Michael Milosh
Alexa Nikolas and Michael Milosh. Photo: Alexa Nikolas/instagram; getty

Zoey 101 alum Alexa Nikolas is suing her ex-husband Michael Milosh, accusing him of "grooming" her when she was a minor and abusing her over the course of their marriage.

According to a court document obtained by PEOPLE, Milosh, 45, allegedly "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."

The suit also names the "corporate entities" which Nikolas claims knew about Milosh's alleged behavior. "Meanwhile, the record labels, management companies, and other corporate entities enabled Milosh by supporting him financially and ratifying his misconduct despite knowledge that Nikolas was a minor and continuing to suffer abuse even after the age of majority," it says.

With the lawsuit, Nikolas, 29, is seeking "justice for the years of emotional sexual, psychological, and financial torture she suffered."

PEOPLE has reached out to Milosh's management, as well as lawyers for Nikolas, for comment.

mike milosh
Milosh. Kieran Frost/Redferns

The records further document how Nikolas met the musician, a frontman in the band Rhye, when she was 16 and he was 33, claiming that he was "flirtatious" from the time that they met despite knowing her age and regularly sought pornographic photos from her.

He then allegedly "used his status in the industry, authority, seniority, fame and her trust to sexually assault Nikolas," and continued to do so after they got married in 2012. The pair finalized their divorce in 2019.

"The years of childhood sexual assault and grooming prevented Nikolas from realizing the emotional trauma, damage, and control bestowed upon her," the lawsuit states.

It goes on to detail various disturbing instances, including Milosh allegedly sexually assaulting Nikolas during their first night together and later pressing his arm into her throat and screaming "shut up, shut up, shut up" while she suffered a panic attack.

The document also details a 2013 incident following the release of Milosh's fourth solo album, Jetlag, which has "recordings of Nikolas during sex throughout the album, including a specific recording of her saying 'no' in response to his attempt to anally penetrate her."

"At the album release party, Milosh displayed his photographic 'art' to the guests which consisted of huge photographs of Nikolas, completely naked," it says. "These photographs were not modest in nature, but rather, displayed Nikolas' young naked body for all to see. Nikolas did not consent to the use of naked photographs of herself to be used in public in this manner. During the party, Milosh proudly told attendees of the party that they were listening to Nikolas during coerced anal sex throughout his entire album. 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."

It continues, "Individuals from Innovative Leisure, Polydor, BIZ3, Loma Vista, and KCRW Public Radio were in attendance at this party, with 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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In the conclusion of the lawsuit, Nikolas seeks an unspecified amount in damages from Milosh, "including lost earnings, economic damages, and others in an amount to be determined at trial."

Many of the allegations in the suit were previously made public in an Instagram post that Nikolas shared back in March, titled "Groomed by the Groom."

"This is an open letter about an older male ephebophile musician that groomed a teenager for a green card, success, and sex," she began. "Before I begin, I would like to take a bow to each and every human being that stood up to tell their story, even with the fear of judgement and/or persecution. I take a bow to every human being that has had to stay silent for whatever reason they felt had outweighed speaking up. Each of us heal in our own ways. We have the right to do so."

At the time, Milosh released a statement to multiple media outlets denying the allegations.

"I reiterate that these accusations are outrageously false and the manipulated stories provably untrue," Milosh said, per NPR. "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."

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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