The American conductor James Levine accused of sexual assault
American conductor James Levine with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, during a rehearsal in September 2007 in Paris
James Levine, legendary conductor and honorary music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, is the latest prominent figure to be caught in a scandal of charges of harassment and sexual assault, accused of sexually abusing a teenager in the 80s.
The allegedly anonymous victim told police in the state of northeastern Illinois that the facts began in 1985 when he was 15 years old and the conductor 41, and continued until ‘in 1993, according to The New York Post.
“He embarrassed me, made me feel guilty,” said the man, now 48, in his statement to the police, according to the newspaper. “I was hurt emotionally, lost, paralyzed.”
The man reportedly told police officers in Lake Forest, Illinois that James Levine used to masturbate in front of him and kiss her sex, according to the newspaper.
After sending gifts for several years to the young man in 1985, James Levine began sexual touching. First, stroking the young man’s hand “in a prolonged and incredibly sensual manner”, which would have made him “very uncomfortable”. The man then accuses James Levine of caressing him sex in a room of a luxury hotel in Lake Forest, where the scene would have been reproduced “hundreds of times” over the years.
His meetings with Levine, under the pretext of talking about his ambitions in the world of classical music, would have continued until 1993. According to the Post, in addition to various gifts as chopsticks of conductor, Levine him would have given $ 50,000 in cash over the years.
The alleged victim claims that these assaults “took him to the brink of suicide.” “I felt lonely, scared, he was trying to seduce me, I could not see what was happening, now I can,” he told the New York Post police.
“James Levine was not someone you could say no,” he added.
These charges can not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations for a sex crime against a minor in the state is exceeded by nine years, but the Post claims that the police investigated and submitted their findings to the local prosecutor, who would have held no charge at the moment.
The Metropolitan Opera, one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the United States, did not want to speak immediately on the case. According to The New York Post, the general manager of the company knew about the charges since 2016.
James Levine began his career at the “Met” in New York in 1971, directing more than 2,500 performances of nearly 85 different operas. After 40 years in the musical direction of the opera, he retired at the end of the 2015-16 season, for health reasons, suffering from Parkinson’s disease. He has, however, retained the position of Honorary Music Director.
Since the outbreak of the Harvey Weinstein affair in October, countless scandals surrounding accusations of harassment, assault and even rape have broken out, affecting, in addition to the cinema, other sectors (media, politics, etc.). ) in numerous countries.