Metropolitan Opera fires James Levine after sexual abuse claims
Three months after multiple men accused James Levine of sexual assault, the Metropolitan Opera officially fired the conductor.
“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 opera said in a statement Monday.
“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.”
Four men accused Levine of assault, including Ashok Pai, who told the Daily News that the conductor “basically sexually assaulted me hundreds of times.”
Albin Ifsich told the New York Times that Levine, now 74, began abusing him in 1968 when he was 20 years old and continued for several years.
Levine had routinely denied the allegations.
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“As understandably troubling as the accusations noted in recent press accounts are, they are unfounded,” he said in a statement to the Times. “As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor.”
The opera suspended Levine in December after the men began coming forward. An internal investigation included interviews with more than 70 people.
“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,” the company said.