Metropolitan Opera fires James Levine after finding ‘credible evidence’ of numerous sexual abuse claims


James Levine, the once esteemed conductor of New York’s Metropolitan Opera, was fired from the company on Monday after an in-house investigation including over 70 interviews found evidence supporting a history of sexual abuse allegations, reports The New York Times.

The 74-year-old had been the music director at the Met for four decades when he retired in 2016 for health reasons. He later continued his work as music director emeritus and artistic director of the young artists program.

Since the first allegations were reported in a December New York Times story, Levine has denied all claims, saying in a statement, “As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor.”

The Met’s statement read: “The investigation uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine had engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met. The investigation also uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority. In light of these findings, the Met concludes that it would be inappropriate and impossible for Mr. Levine to continue to work at the Met.”

It added that any rumour of Met members being aware of the incidents and covering them up are “completely unsubstantiated.”

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Source:: Nationalpost


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