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Conductor James Levine sued the Metropolitan Opera on Thursday after a sexual misconduct investigation sank his storied profession, saying the famend firm exploited baseless allegations to tarnish him after which fired him with out a lot as a telephone name.

The Met and its normal supervisor Peter Gelb, « cynically hijacking the good will of the #MeToo movement, brazenly seized on these allegations as a pretext to end a longstanding personal campaign to force Levine out of the Met, » mentioned Levine’s go well with, filed in a Manhattan court docket.

The go well with accuses the corporate and Gelb of defamation and breach of contract. It seeks a minimum of $5.eight million in damages — and « to restore Levine’s name, reputation and career. »

Gelb and Met spokespeople did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

Unleashed three days after his ouster, the go well with represents Levine’s most in depth public effort so far to fight what the Met has known as credible allegations of sexual abuse and harassment that return a long time.

Levine’s go well with says one in all his accusers despatched him pleasant letters for many years after their alleged encounter that by no means accused him of wrongdoing, and even talked of visiting. It additionally says the Met would not inform Levine who some nameless accusers had been however acknowledged nobody who labored on the opera firm made a criticism about him throughout his 46 years there.

‘Kangaroo court docket’

The opera firm suspended Levine and started an investigation in December, after the New York Post and the New York Times aired allegations of sexual misconduct from three males who mentioned it passed off a long time in the past once they had been teenage music college students or aspiring conductors. A fourth man later got here ahead to say Levine had sexually abused him when he was a 20-year-old music pupil.

Levine, 74, has known as the claims unfounded.

« I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor, » he mentioned in a December assertion. « My fervent hope is that in time, people will come to understand the truth. »

Levine hasn’t been charged with any crimes. Prosecutors in Lake County, Ill., mentioned in December that they had investigated a 1980s sexual abuse allegation however concluded that they may not deliver costs, citing components together with the age of consent — 16 — on the time.

But the Met mentioned Monday that its investigation, by an out of doors lawyer, discovered « credible evidence » of « sexually abusive and harassing conduct » each earlier than and through Levine’s tenure there.

His go well with calls the investigation « nothing more than a kangaroo court » designed to power Levine out so Gelb may « advance his own career and step out of the long shadow cast by Levine’s incredible talent. »

The occasions have introduced scrutiny upon the Met, in addition to Levine.

Met knew about investigations

One of the world’s most distinguished opera corporations, the Met has confronted questions on why it did not act sooner, significantly since a Lake Forest detective contacted the corporate in October 2016.

Gelb has mentioned he briefed Met board leaders in regards to the police investigation and spoke to Levine. But on the time, the opera firm determined to go away the matter to police, a Met spokesperson mentioned in December.

The Met mentioned its personal inquiry discovered any claims of a Met « cover-up of information relating to these issues are completely unsubstantiated. »

After conductor Leonard Bernstein’s 1990 loss of life, Levine was considered the highest American conductor, so extensively recognized he was given a starring position within the movie Fantasia 2000.

He made his Met debut in 1971, grew to become chief conductor in 1973, then music or inventive director from 1976 till he stepped down two years in the past due to Parkinson’s illness. He then grew to become music director emeritus and headed the Met’s younger artists program till his suspension.

Note: « Previously Published on: 2018-03-15 19:05:38, as ‘Fired conductor James Levine sues Metropolitan Opera – Entertainment

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