Business Standard

Metropolitan Opera fires its director for sexual harassment

IANS  |  New York 

New York's on Monday fired its emeritus, James Levine, after an investigation that turned up "credible evidence" that he had engaged in during his career.

The investigation "uncovered credible evidence that engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met," said the company in a statement.

Consequently, "it would be inappropriate and impossible for to continue to work at the Met," quoted the statement as saying.

The 74-year-old Levine, a legend in the classical music world, was at the for four decades and continued to be linked to the institution after leaving that post.

The Met said in its statement that it had ended its relationship with because of his sexually harassing and abusive conduct over decades.

According to the Opera, among Levine's victims were artists in the early stages of their careers over whom Levine had authority.

The investigation, lasting more than three months, included interviews with more than 70 people and was launched by the Opera after complaints against Levine made late last year.

One of the documents examined during the investigation was a police report that had been filed in Lake Forest, Illinois, in October 2016, in which an unidentified man claimed that he had been the victim of sexual abuse by Levine three decades ago when he was 15 and the was 41.

The man claimed that the abuse -- including Levine sexually touching him and masturbating in front of him -- lasted from 1985 to 1993 and during that time the gave him $50,000 in cash.

Meanwhile, the Met said that complaints and rumours that its officials or board of directors had covered up Levine's conduct were completely unfounded, adding that it seeks to ensure that its employees and artists have a safe and abuse-free environment in which to work.



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First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 08:04 IST