Famed conductor James Levine, who was fired Monday after a sexual misconduct investigation tarnished his profession, has sued the Metropolitan Opera claiming the corporate exploited baseless allegations to tarnish him after which terminate him with out a lot as a telephone name.
“Cynically hijacking the great will of the #MeToo motion,” the Met and its normal supervisor, Peter Gelb, “openly seized on these allegations as a pretext to finish a longstanding private marketing campaign to drive Levine out of the Met,” stated Levine’s lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan state court docket on Thursday.
The go well with accuses the Met and Gelb of defamation and breach of contract. It seeks at the very least $5.eight million in damages — and “to revive Levine’s identify, repute and profession.”
MET OPERA FIRES JAMES LEVINE AFTER SEXUAL MISCONDUCT PROBE
Levine, who made his Met debut in 1971 and have become one of many signature artists within the firm’s 135-year historical past, was fired after accounts in The New York Put up and The New York Occasions of sexual misconduct courting again to the 1960s. At the least 4 males got here ahead accusing Levine of sexual misconduct.
Levine, 74, has referred to as the claims unfounded.
The go well with alleges that one in all Levine’s accusers despatched him pleasant letters for many years after their alleged encounter, and that he by no means accused him of wrongdoing and even talked of visiting.
The occasions have introduced scrutiny upon the Met, in addition to Levine. The Met has confronted questions on why it didn’t act sooner, particularly since a detective contacted the corporate in October 2016 relating to a police investigation into Levine.
The Met determined to analyze Levine and introduced Monday it “uncovered credible proof that Mr. Levine had engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct each earlier than and through the interval when he labored on the Met.”
METROPOLITAN OPERA CONDUCTOR JAMES LEVINE DENIES SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS: I AM NOT ‘AN AGGRESSOR’
“In mild of those findings, the Met concludes that it will be inappropriate and unattainable for Mr. Levine to proceed to work on the Met.”
The conductor was thought to be the most effective in America. He was so broadly identified he was given a starring position within the movie “Fantasia 2000.” He stepped down because the chief conductor two years in the past as a consequence of Parkinson’s illness.
The Related Press contributed to this report.