CHICAGO (CBS) — The New York Metropolitan Opera announced Monday that it has fired its conductor, 10-time Grammy award winner James Levine, after an investigation found “credible evidence” that he “engaged in sexually abusive” conduct toward artists.
In a statement, the Met said the investigation found that Levine, 74, abused “vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers,” adding that it would be impossible for him to continue his working relationship.
“The investigation also found that any claims or rumors that members of the Met’s management or its Board of Directors engaged in a cover-up of information relating to these issues are completely unsubstantiated,” the statement said.
The Met said more than 70 individuals were interviewed during the course of the investigation.
Levine was suspended by the Met in December pending the investigation, after he had been accused of molesting a teenage boy in the northern suburbs.
According to police reports, the alleged victim told police his parents brought him backstage at the Ravinia Festival to meet Levine in the 70’s while Levine was the music director.
The alleged victim told Lake Forest police the sexual abuse started in 1985 when he was 15-years-old and Levine was in his early 40’s. The man said Levine would lay naked with him and touched his penis.
The victim also alleged his relationship with Levine lasted for decades, and says he was given $50,000 up until 2014.