Dismissed due to charges of abuse, Levine sues Met Opera for defamation and breaking contract

Posted on: March 16, 2018

“The conductor James Levine sued the Metropolitan Opera for breach of contract and defamation on Thursday, three days after the company he defined for more than four decades fired him when an investigation found he had ‘engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct,’ ” writes Michael Cooper in Friday’s (3/16) New York Times. “The lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, states that Mr. Levine ‘has clearly and unequivocally denied any wrongdoing in connection with those allegations,’ and paints his firing as a result of an effort by the Met’s general manager, Peter Gelb, ‘to oust Levine from the Met and completely erase his legacy from the organization.’ The suit seeks more than $5.8 million in damages.… It accuses the Met of acting only after what it calls ‘vague and unsubstantiated accusations in the press’ … The suit states that Mr. Levine’s contract had no provision for the Met to fire or suspend him.… The Met denied the allegations in the suit. ‘The Met terminated Mr. Levine’s contract on March 12, following an in-depth investigation that uncovered credible and corroborated evidence of sexual misconduct during his time at the Met, as well as earlier,’ its lawyer, Bettina B. Plevan, said.”

Posted March 16, 2018