CHICAGO (CBS) — The New York Metropolitan Opera announced Saturday that it has opened an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against its conductor, 10-time Grammy award winner James Levine.
Levine had previously been accused of molesting a teenage boy in the Northern suburbs.
According to police reports obtained by the Associated Press, 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 AP reported that 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.
In a tweet Saturday, the Met said: “We are working on an investigation [with] outside resources to determine whether charges of sexual misconduct in the 1980’s are true, so that we can take appropriate action.”
Ravinia first learned of the allegations raised against Levine through a media inquiry late Friday, the company said in a statement. “We understand from these articles that investigations are ongoing. Ravinia finds these allegations very disturbing and contrary to its zero-tolerance policies and culture. Ravinia will take any actions that it deems appropriate following the results of these investigations.”
Sunday evening, the Met announced it is suspending its relationship with Levine, pending an investigation, following “multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.” The statement said Levine will not be involved in any Met activities, including conducting scheduled performances at the Met this season.
“While we await the results of the investigation, based on these new news reports, the Met has made the decision to act now,” said Peter Gelb, Met General Manager.
Lake Forest police turned over all of their information and findings to the Lake County State’s Attorney. A spokesperson told CBS 2 the case is under review.
No charges have been filed.