Monday, 19 August, 2019

Leader of New York City Ballet retires amid misconduct investigation

Martins has been hit with multiple allegations of sexual harassment and physical and verbal abuse. When news of the accusations first broke in early December he took a leave of absence from the company Leader of New York City Ballet retires amid misconduct investigation
Lora Ball | 02 January, 2018, 18:08

According to the New York Times, Peter Martins, New York City ballet leader for over three decades, has made a decision to retire following accusations of sexual harassment and physical and verbal abuse.

The New York Times recently reported that City Ballet dancers had come forward to allege verbal and physical abuse dating back to 1993.

Late Monday he informed the company's board that he would be retiring effective immediately. The allegations first emerged with an anonymous letter that detailed claims of sexual harassment.

"Mr. Martins, who has been on leave as the company investigates his actions, added, "I cooperated fully in the investigation and understand it will be completed shortly".

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"I believe its findings would have vindicated me", he wrote in his letter to the board.

"We thank Peter for his tremendous contributions to New York City Ballet as ballet master in chief for over three decades, leading the Company to exceptional artistic heights and accomplishments", Scharf wrote in a statement. Other dancers have backed Martins.

The newspaper reports that in recent interviews dancers described a culture of intimidation under Martins which include body-shaming and engaging in sexual relationships with dancers who then reportedly received better roles in productions. In The Washington Post, a former ballet star also alleged that Mr Martins had grabbed and shaken her in a "violent" incident in 1989.

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