After Sexual Abuse Allegations, James Levine Is Still Getting a Settlement

Illustration for article titled After Sexual Abuse Allegations, James Levine Is Still Getting a Settlement
Image: AP

According to the Guardian, The New York Metropolitan Opera has settled its lawsuits with disgraced conductor James Levine, who the organization fired after finding what they allege to be “credible evidence that Mr. Levine had engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met.” Levine worked as the Met’s music director for four decades, between 1976 and his suspension in 2017. The details of the settlement have not been revealed.


According to the New York Times, Levine was suspended from his position at the Met in December 2017 following accusations of sexual assault from multiple men. One allegation came from a man who filed a police report in 2016, claiming that Levine molested him three decades earlier, when he was 15 and the conductor was in his 40s. Levine was officially fired in March 2018 and, within in a matter of days, sued the Met for breach of contract and defamation, asking for $5.85 million in damages—the remainder of his salary had he fulfilled his contract through 2026, NPR reported.

The complaint stipulated that the Met knew about the 2016 police report but “took no disciplinary action,” therefore it was, “cynically hijacking the good will of the #MeToo movement.”

In May 2018, the Met countersued Levine, arguing that Levine’s decades of sexual misconduct had irreparably damaged the company. By that time, at least nine men had come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against Levine, a few claiming they were teenagers at the time of the abuse, NPR reported.

According to AP, in March 2019, New York Supreme Court Justice Andrea Masley dismissed all but one of Levine’s defamation claims—breach of contract—the last update in the ongoing saga before the undisclosed settlement this week. Seems to me that, whatever the settlement, it probably doesn’t look a lot like justice.

URL: Senior Writer, Jezebel. IRL: Author of the very good book 'LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS,' out now.



Screw the Met. They've known he's a predator for decades.