James Levine

When the Metropolitan Opera fired James Levine over sexual misconduct, the conductor sued the opera house for defamation and breach of contract. Now the Met has filed a counter-lawsuit with a lot of details about allegations of abuse and sexual harassment that were not previously disclosed.

The Met claims its investigation disclosed credible evidence that Levine “used his reputation and position of power to prey upon and abuse artists.” In addition to his duties as conductor, Levine was in charge of the young artist development program at the Met.

Among the allegations, the Mret is citing the case of a 16-year-old artist, who suffered sexual harassment over many years. In 1985, Levine groped and kissed a man whom he offered to drive home. Levin later placed him in “a prestigious program” at the Met.

In 1999, he touched a young artist and invited him into his dressing room “to engage in sexual activity.”

Levine’s attorneys denied the Met lawsuit’s allegations. “The truth is that Levine did not commit any acts of sexual misconduct against any individuals, much less the unnamed individuals referred to,” the statement says. “The Met’s so-called ‘investigation’ of Levine’s conduct,” they added, “was nothing more than a pretext for the Met to suspend, fire and defame him.”

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