Topless woman grabbed at festival speaks out

Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller said she wanted to normalise the naked body. Source: Facebook/Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller.
Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller said she wanted to normalise the naked body. Source: Facebook/Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller.

A TOPLESS woman who had her breast grabbed at a New Year's Eve music festival in New Zealand says she is not afraid to go topless in public again.

Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller, 20, from Portland, Oregon in the US, spoke out about the incident, which was caught on camera, in a heartfelt online message on her personal Facebook page.

The American-born woman was seen walking through a field with her chest covered in glitter at the Rhythm and Vines festival in Gisbourne, on the east coast of the North Island, when the man ran up behind her.

He grabbed her breast before running off and taking a seat on the grass. She retaliated by hitting him across the head and back as her friend poured a drink over him.

"There's been a tonne of controversy over my actions as well as what I was wearing that day," she said the in the six-minute video.

"I had that body art done at the festival. I paid to have it done, as well as many other girls I saw walking around with it.

"I saw plenty of naked men that day getting absolutely no harassment for revealing themselves. So I have to ask, what is the difference?"

Earlier today, she told the NZ Herald she still hasn't received a proper apology - adding the man laughed with his friends as the crowd riled up against him: "It wasn't sincere at all. I had no idea who he was ... he just hid his face".

In the video of the incident, Ms Anello-Kitzmiller, who was accompanied by a female friend, is seen chasing after him and striking him several times in the face.

People can be heard reacting in shock, with one woman saying: "I got that all on video."

The footage was later uploaded to Facebook.



Right before the man groped the topless woman's breast.
Right before the man groped the topless woman's breast.



In her online video, Ms Anello-Kitzmiller said she went topless to normalise the naked body and, despite the incident, she had "the best time of (her) life" at the festival.

"My lack of clothing is not the problem, the problem is people thinking they have the right to touch my body without consent," she said.

"My breasts are not sex toys, they are not an invitation. The problem is not the clothing, stop victim blaming.

"Comments stating that I was asking for it ... are promoting rape culture. I personally love getting naked. The glitter t**s will be coming back."

The video of the indecent, since removed by Facebook, was uploaded with the "Idk who you are glitter booby girl, but you and your sassy friend were the highlight of my RNV experience. Hope you and your party breasts made it home safe."

Anello-Kitzmiller added: "#lookbutdonttouch".

The police have not been contacted over the incident, the NZ Herald reports.

Katie Ashworth, 18 (left), and Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller at Rhythm & Vines.
Katie Ashworth, 18 (left), and Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller at Rhythm & Vines.

The festival is a popular destination for New Year's Eve revellers, branding itself the "first place in the world to welcome the first sunrise of the new year".

Each year 30,000 revellers enjoy a host of musical performances on the Waiohika Estate vineyard, with the event taking place over three days.

The assault comes less than a day after a 32-year-old man was arrested and charged for grabbing a woman's breast in a mosh pit at the Falls Festival in Tasmania.

The attack on Sunday night was the third sexual assault reported to police at the Marion Bay music festival.

Previously, a 19-year-old woman was allegedly assaulted on Friday night during the Jungle Giants performance, and a sexual assault in the camping area was reported on Saturday night.

Police say the latest incident happened in the mosh pit of the festival's Valley stage when Fleet Foxes were due to play.

The 32-year-old from Carlton has been charged with assault with indecent intent after he allegedly grabbed a woman on the breast. The incident is not linked to two previous sexual assaults.

"The [alleged] incident occurred in the mosh pit of the main stage at around 9.30pm and was witnessed by several persons who aided the victim," a Tasmania Police spokeswoman said.

"The [alleged] perpetrator was identified by the victim and detained by security staff and taken into custody by police shortly thereafter.

"Police were disappointed by the reported incidents of inappropriate behaviour however, patrons were generally well behaved and in good spirits."

The man has since been released on bail to appear in court at a later date.

There has been numerous assaults at Tasmania’s Falls Festival. Picture: Matt Thompson
There has been numerous assaults at Tasmania’s Falls Festival. Picture: Matt Thompson

- with The Sun's John Shammas

This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished here with permission.

The man is hit by the woman after he groped her.
The man is hit by the woman after he groped her.

Topics:  groped lifestyle music festival sexual harassment

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