Former Met Music Director James Levine Sues For Defamation

James Levine
Conductor James Levine in 2013

After an artistic collaboration spanning four decades, conductor James Levine was fired by the Metropolitan Opera, Monday, March 12th, after an “investigation uncovered 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.” By Thursday of the same week, Levine responded with a lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, against the Met and its General Manager Peter Gelb. The complaint accuses the Met of “cynically hijacking the good will of the #MeToo movement.” In addition to the defamation charges, Levine is seeking $5.85 million in damages, in part over breach of his contract as Met music director emeritus which was to last till 2026.

Met Opera Press Statement> NPR> James Levine Complaint> New York Times>