The Met denied the allegations within the swimsuit. “The Met terminated Mr. Levine’s contract on March 12, following an in-depth investigation that uncovered credible and corroborated proof of sexual misconduct for the length of his time on the Met, as successfully as earlier,” its lawyer, Bettina B. Plevan, mentioned in a assertion. “It is gross that Mr. Levine has refused to accept responsibility for his actions, and has this day as a replacement made up our minds to lash out on the Met with a swimsuit riddled with untruths.”
The swimsuit used to be filed appropriate hours earlier than the outlet of a brand novel production of Mozart’s “Così Fan Tutte,” a uniqueness of Mr. Levine’s that he executed when he returned to the rostrum in 2013, after being sidelined for 2 years thanks to a spinal ruin. To rebut the cost that Met management had been searching for to power Mr. Levine out, the Met pointed to the indisputable fact that it had retained him as music director even when successfully being problems kept him from conducting for lengthy stretches of time.
Mr. Levine is being represented by two eminent attorneys, Elkan Abramowitz — who has represented a choice of excessive-profile potentialities including Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo — and Edward J.M. Little, an experienced trial lawyer who specializes in white-collar defense, internal investigations and subtle civil litigation.
Mr. Levine’s swimsuit claims that the Met’s investigation, which used to be led by Robert J. Cleary, a associate on the Proskauer Rose legislation firm, “amounted to nothing better than a kangaroo court docket,” and accused the Met of the usage of “McCarthyite tactics.” It mentioned that Mr. Levine had not been given “an inexpensive opportunity to respond to the accusations in opposition to him.” Mr. Levine didn’t conclude up talking to the Met’s investigators, the swimsuit mentioned, because his attorneys had wished the Met to assemble the names of his accusers first.
Ms. Plevan mentioned that the Met had provided Mr. Levine “a colossal choice of opportunities to be interviewed, starting set in December.” She added that “it used to be entirely when the investigation used to be wrapping up, upon realization that termination used to be drawing end, that he agreed to be interviewed, however on not doable terms, asking that the identity of his accusers, who had been promised anonymity, be disclosed.”
The lawsuit mentioned that Mr. Levine “categorically denied having ever been engaged in an abusive sexual relationship,” and mentioned that the accusations made in opposition to him within the press articles, including in The Instances, had been “inaccurate.” It namely challenged the epic given by James Lestock, a cellist who mentioned that he used to be abused by Mr. Levine starting set within the summer of 1968, when he used to be a 17-year-extinct pupil, and continuing for years as he joined a unbiased appropriate-knit clique of musicians who followed Mr. Levine as his profession blossomed.
The swimsuit mentioned that Mr. Levine had got many marvelous letters over the years from Mr. Lestock, which existing “a end and heat friendship with Levine that lasted a long time after he alleges Levine sexually abused him in 1968.”
In an interview on Thursday evening, Mr. Lestock mentioned that he had sent Mr. Levine letters over the years, however stood by his accusations.
“What I said earlier than is appropriate,” he mentioned. “When he requested for intercourse I mentioned no. When he physically abused me to the purpose of bringing me to tears, and I used to be crying, he then continued.” He notorious that for the length of the 1990s, within the identical length of about a of the letters mentioned within the swimsuit, he had also written about Mr. Levine’s abuse to the British journalist Norman Lebrecht, who acknowledged that on his weblog, Slipped Disc.
Mr. Levine’s swimsuit provides many within the support of-the-scenes glimpses of his deteriorating relationship with Mr. Gelb. The swimsuit mentioned that after a dress rehearsal of “Tannhäuser” in 2015, when Mr. Levine used to be combating problems linked to his Parkinson’s illness, Mr. Gelb “known as Levine’s private internist, Dr. Len Horovitz, to set a query to Levine’s psychological successfully being.” When Mr. Levine stepped down as music director in 2016, the swimsuit claims, that the Met released a public assertion in Mr. Levine’s title that he had not wished to subject.
Ms. Plevan mentioned in her assertion that the Met entirely moved Mr. Levine to the emeritus role “when it became evident that Levine used to be not physically in a position to accomplishing his responsibilities as music director.”
“On the opposite hand,” she mentioned, “the Met continued to give a improve to him within the role of music director emeritus, a role created especially for him, and entirely suspended its relationship with him when Levine used to be accused of a number of acts of sexual misconduct, fees which occupy been corroborated following a better than three-month investigation.”