After numerous accusation of sexual misconduct, James Levine has finally responded in a public statement.
The conductor said, “As understandably troubling as the accusations noted in recent press accounts are, they are unfounded. As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor.”
He continued, “I have devoted my energies to the development, growth, and nurturing of music and musicians all over the world — particularly with the Metropolitan Opera where my work has been the lifeblood and passion of my artistic imagination. My fervent hope is that in time people will come to understand the truth, and I will be able to continue my work with full concentration and inspiration.”
In response to the statement, James Lestock, 67, one of the victims, stood by his account and said, “He is lying. The examples of instigating sex with a minor, physical abuse using physical pain leading to break down crying, all happened. I will take a lie-detector test. Will he?”
Mr. Lestock said that he was a 17-year-old cello student at Meadow Brook when he was abused in Mr. Levine’s dorm room.
Chris Brown, 66, also stood by his account that Mr. Levine had abused him the summer before his senior year in high school, when he was 17. He said, “Sexual abuse at any age is inexcusable. Further, belittling those of us who were abused as less than fully human is repugnant. I stand by the story.”
James Levine was recently suspended from the Metropolitan Opera and is currently being investigated by the company. He was recently replaced by Marco Armiliato, Betrand de Billy and Emmanuel Villaume.