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NY Post: James Levine molested teenaged boy

December 2, 2017 by norman lebrecht

122 comments.


The newspaper has just gone live with this report:

Legendary Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine molested an Illinois teenager from the time he was 15 years old, sexual abuse that lasted for years and led the alleged victim to the brink of suicide, according to a police report obtained by The Post…

 

 

Read on here.

Neither Levine nor his New York agent returned multiple requests for comment. A spokesman for the Met did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Its general manager, Peter Gelb, did not return a message.

The report is based on a deposition made to Illinois police in 2016 by an unnamed person. There has been no independent corroboration.

UPDATE: The Met issues statement on James Levine.

UPDATE2: James Levine: A note of caution.

UPDATE3: Boston Symphony statement.

UPDATE4: The Met suspends Levine.

UPDATE5: Who has questions to answer?

UPDATE6: Levine denies

UPDATE7: Orchestra parents warned their sons about Levine

UPDATE 8: Will this kill the Met?

UPDATE 9: Did Leonard Bernstein have a James Levine problem? 

UPDATE 10: The Met’s musicians respond


Comments (122)

  1. J. says:

    Well, let’s go then. This is just the beginning. The next months will be wild for the classical music business.

    1. I have to agree. I am calling this “Minnegeddon”. Don’t be surprised if there are some fireworks in Minnesota, which imo Norman is aware of but has chosen to say nothing…

      1. J. says:

        Tell us more, then. And help to avoid other abuses.

  2. Tom Moore says:

    Something like this has been rumored about JL for several decades.

    1. laurie says:

      NEW YORK TIMES STORY

      Met Opera to Investigate James Levine Over Sexual Abuse Accusation
      By MICHAEL COOPERDEC. 2, 2017

      The Metropolitan Opera announced Saturday night that it would open an investigation into its famed conductor, James Levine, based on a 2016 police report in which a man accused Mr. Levine of sexually abusing him three decades ago, beginning when the man was a teenager.

      Met officials acknowledged they had been aware of the police report since last year, but they decided to begin an investigation after media inquiries about Mr. Levine’s behavior. The man’s accusation and the inquiry by the Met, one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, showed that the national reckoning over accusations of sexual misconduct had entered the world of classical music at its very highest echelons.

      In the report compiled by the Lake Forest, Ill., police department, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, the man said he was 15 when Mr. Levine held his hand in an “incredibly sensual” way. The following summer, the man told the police, Mr. Levine lay naked with him in bed and touched his penis — the beginning of years of sexual contact with Mr. Levine.

      The Times recently interviewed the man, who confirmed that he made the accusations outlined in the police report, and a relative who said that the man first complained privately in 1993 of being sexually abused. The man spoke to the Times on condition of anonymity to guard his privacy.

      Mr. Levine did not immediately respond to a request for comment made through the Met.

      The man, who grew up in Illinois, said that he had met Mr. Levine at the Ravinia Festival, the summer music event Mr. Levine led as music director from 1973 through 1993, according to the police report. The New York Post first reported details from the report on Saturday.

      The man told the police that he was a music lover with dreams of becoming a conductor who had been four years old when his parents first took him to meet Mr. Levine at Ravinia. He told the police that the misconduct began in the summer of 1985, when he was 15 and Mr. Levine was in his early 40s. He told the police that Mr. Levine drove him home and, in the driveway of his family’s home in Kenilworth, “started holding my hand in a prolonged and incredibly sensual way.”

      He said that Mr. Levine told him he wanted “to see if you can be raised special like me.”

      The abuse escalated the following summer, the man told the police, when he would visit Mr. Levine at the Deer Path Inn, a hotel near Ravinia.

      “I would get there and the lights are off, and he would say to me after I came in and after a hug ‘take your clothes off,’ ” the man wrote in a statement to police.

      “On various occasions he would ask me how I touched myself and then he would touch me the way I touched myself,” the man wrote. “I was never able to be aroused by this. But then he would masturbate himself at his bed or in the bathroom.”

      The police report contains a college recommendation that Mr. Levine wrote for the man on Met stationary in 1987. In it, Mr. Levine wrote that he had known the teenager for “almost fifteen years.” The man also told the police that Mr. Levine had given him money over the years, which he estimated added up to $50,000.

      Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Met, said on Saturday night that the company would begin an investigation of Mr. Levine.

      “This first came to the Met’s attention when the Illinois police investigation was opened in October of 2016,” Mr. Gelb said. “At the time Jim said that the charges were completely false, and we didn’t hear anything further from the police. We need to determine if these charges are true and, if they are, take appropriate action. We will now be conducting our own investigation with outside resources.”

      The man told the police that the abuse went on for years, and that “this pattern repeated itself hundreds of times,” later continuing in New York City. At one point, the man wrote, Mr. Levine invited him to New York for an audition to see if he had the makings of a conductor — and concluded that he did not, and that he should focus on his other talents. “While the musical mentorship potential was over at the end of the audition, the promise of his raising me ‘special’ like him never ended,” he wrote in the statement to the police.

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      The man told police that he “only recently realized” that his history with Mr. Levine was affecting his life in “a negative manner.” The police report indicates that Lake Forest detectives interviewed Mr. Gelb of the Met and several journalists who have written about Mr. Levine over the years. Detective Wendy Dumont of the Lake Forest Police declined to comment when reached Saturday.

      Beth Glynn, a former board member at the Met Opera, confirmed on Saturday that she had spoken with a police detective after having been called by the man accusing Mr. Levine of misconduct.

      “I don’t know how he got my number,” she said in a brief phone interview. “I told him twice he must call the police and I hung up.”

      Mr. Levine, 74, is among the world’s most famous and influential conductors, a star of European festivals and American orchestras alike. But his commitment to the Met is unprecedented — he has been virtually synonymous with it since he became its music director four decades ago. He has led more than 2,500 performances with the company, more than any other conductor — expanding its repertory, spurring the creation of its young artists’ program and raising its orchestra’s level to that of the world’s finest symphonic ensembles.

      But rumors about Mr. Levine and sexual abuse have also circulated for years. Johanna Fiedler, who was the Met’s press representative for 15 years, wrote about them in her 2001 book “Molto Agitato: The Mayhem Behind the Music at the Metropolitan Opera.”

      “Starting in the spring of 1979, these stories came to the surface at more or less regular intervals,” she wrote. “Each time, the Met press office would tirelessly point out the cyclical nature of the gossip and the complete lack of substance.”

      In 1987 Mr. Levine dismissed the rumors in an interview with the Times, recalling that he had been told years earlier that there were “reports of a morals charge in Pittsburgh or Hawaii or Dallas.”

      “Both my friends and my enemies checked it out and to this day, I don’t have the faintest idea where those rumors came from or what purpose they served,” Mr. Levine said at the time.

      In recent years Mr. Levine has struggled with health problems and surgeries, which caused him to resign as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, after seven seasons, in 2011. He missed two Met seasons after sustaining a spinal injury that year.

      He returned in 2013, but complications related to his Parkinson’s disease sometimes caused his left arm to flail and made it increasingly difficult for performers to follow his conducting. He stepped down from his position in April of 2016, becoming the Met’s music director emeritus.

      Mr. Levine’s physical capacities have lately seemed to improve, and he has a robust schedule at the Met this season, already leading a run of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” and Verdi’s Requiem this fall. He has jumped into a new production of Puccini’s “Tosca” set to premiere on New Year’s Eve, with Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” and “Luisa Miller” to follow in coming months.

      1. Olassus says:

        NYT headline now reads:

        Met to Investigate Famed Conductor in Sexual Abuse Claims

        Perhaps someone wanted “Levine” lower down.

    2. Algot says:

      What took them so long ? Already in the early eighties it was said that he couldn’t work in Canada anymore due to an incident involving members of a boys choir on tour. Difficult to prove after all these years.

  3. Danish Lady says:

    Isn’t this really old news…?

  4. Herr Doktor says:

    It’s not even an “open secret” but rather a fact everyone knows to be true. Including Norman Lebrecht, who has alluded to it in (I believe) The Maestro Myth. Reportedly members of the board of the Met have arranged for accusers to be paid off in the past. And reportedly, there are more than a few victims.

    1. Nic says:

      Indeed, this is not news to those within the incestuous world of classical music. What is equally deplorable and should be addressed is, as the entry above indicates, “Reportedly members of the board of the Met have arranged for accusers to be paid off in the past. And reportedly, there are more than a few victims.” If that statement is true, then those responsible at the Met who did this, who covered up a crime against a child, are complicit in a crime, namely the harm done to children through predatory sexual behaviour against a minor. In the United States, justice is trumped by money and if you are rich, or if you have powerful backers behind you, you can just carry on doing what you did and there is no justice whatsoever. I believe that the Americans call this democracy, the same thing that they have been lecturing and hectoring the world on for decades.

      1. AMetFan says:

        Yes, let’s make this an anti-American issue.

        1. Sue says:

          Recently I again watched the film “Taxi Driver”, made in 1976. In that film a 12 year old Jodie Foster is seen stroking Robert De Niro and simulating sexual acts upon him – the sort of thing you’d find repulsive in an adult. Who was in loco parentis when this film was made and why was this young woman exposed in such a way? I found it truly appalling.

          So, before rushing off to name names and wag fingers why not sit down and have a hard look at the entire culture and how it’s represented in the popular culture so see what message it sends. Everyone has participated in its general debasement. Now we see the tawdry consequences.

          1. AMetFan says:

            Hmmm…Taxi Driver was appalling enough for you to watch yet again? Interesting.

          2. Henry Page says:

            Well it is the same social culture you complain of that has brought about enough enlightenment and support that allows victims to speak out to prevent such abuse going unchecked so you have stood your own argument on its head Sue.

        2. Henry Page says:

          It is surely incorrect to say that child abuse is a consequence of cultural stimulus; it is the child abuse that implicitly stimulates the cultural mores. Moreover, the fact that this behaviour has become so relatively explicit that has actually caused the groundswell of complainants that will hopefully lead to an increasing reduction in this abuse and understanding why it occurs.

          1. Sue says:

            Popular culture has a great deal to do with social behaviour; denying this means one isn’t serious about trying to redress social attitudes to sexuality, violence, exploitation and power structures. My husband’s cousin is a retired London psychiatrist who worked with troubled teenagers and always said the nexus between violence, criminal behaviour and dysfunction is inextricably linked to popular culture. And he wrote a book about it.

          2. Bruce says:

            Henry, please stop making so much sense. Your kind of comment only serves to make unthinking reactions more difficult.

        3. Alex Davies says:

          I have yet to read any compelling evidence for Heath’s alleged guilt. The most that the police have said is that based on the evidence submitted to them they would have interviewed him under caution about the allegations. The threshold for interview under caution is very low. For the police to interview somebody under caution they don’t really need any more to go on than that they have received a complaint which is not wholly incredible. A suspect doesn’t even need to be arrested for an interview under caution to take place. A lot of people are interviewed under caution and no further action is taken. Indeed, a lot of people are arrested and no further action is taken.

          Recent examples of interview under caution where no further action has been taken include Field Marshal Lord Bramall, Harvey Proctor, and John Hemming. The “Nick” allegations (Bramall, Proctor, and others) were frankly ridiculous and there was firm evidence, at least in the case of Bramall, that he could not possibly have been at certain locations at certain points in time (e.g. because he was on the other side of the world performing official duties at the time). The Hemming allegations are similarly entirely lacking in merit. The alleged victim claims that he recognised Hemming as the man who had abused her as a child after she saw photos of him on the internet. One problem is that her story has developed over time, so that at first no politicians were involved, then there was an MP, and eventually lords and judges were also supposed to have been involved. One bizarre feature of her account is that Hemming was attended by police officers, which is wholly incredible, as he would only have had police protection had he become, e.g., prime minister, home secretary, or Northern Ireland secretary. Recently, moving away from non-recent sex crimes, three people were arrested on suspicion of murder in a very high profile investigation, only to be wholly cleared of any suspicion of guilt after the body of the victim was eventually found (they had been arrested before the body had even been found) and it became apparent that she had not even been murdered, let alone murdered by those suspects.

          So I honestly would not take grounds for interview under caution to be in any way indicative of guilt in any case. In the case of Edward Heath, in particular, there seems to be a large body of evidence suggesting that the allegations against him are false, being based on a combination of politics, innuendo, and conspiracy. There have been allegations about Establishment child sex abuse that seem to be plausible, e.g. Sir Cyril Smith and Lord Janner, but Heath does not seem to me to be one of them.

  5. G says:

    This Is literally the worst kept secret in the classical music world
    They should look at some cases in Germany……
    The man is Mentally ill
    Tragic

    1. Disgusted says:

      He’s not mentally ill. He’s a predator who used his power to hurt people. He knew *exactly* what he was doing and so did everyone else in the industry.

      1. Henry Page says:

        Knowing what he is doing does not preclude mental illness. The world’s most famous predators – Charlie Manson for example – are usually mentally ill.

  6. whatiscorroboration says:

    Since when does slippedisc need corroboration. It seems slippedisc is playing defense.

  7. Will says:

    This is an open secret akin to Harvey Weinstein in the classical music world. Ever since the parade of accusations began, I’ve been wondering when Levine would be taken down.

    1. Anon says:

      uhm, no, not the same as Weinstein. Much worse
      Weinstein harassed adults.
      Levine abused minors.

      1. Will says:

        Didn’t mean in terms of severity – meant in terms of how many people knew about it.

        1. Blair Tindall says:

          Any musician working in NYC or Cleveland from 1970 on knew about it. This was in no way a secret.

          1. Will says:

            It’s true – it wasn’t even hidden – just people going around saying that Jimmy Levine likes young boys. It’s really sickening.

          2. Edoardo says:

            All this was well known also in Italy among those who knew a bit of the classical backstage world. Only surprise is that it take so long to openly surface. But you know the American legal system: a lot can be fixed outside the court in a totally private manner.

      2. Henry Page says:

        akin
        əˈkɪn/
        adjective
        adjective: akin

        of similar character.

        i.e. not the same but similar

  8. FreddyNg says:

    By the looks of things and if the latest news is any indication the very foundation of the white Establishment is being slowly dismantled…..

    1. T. Schurk says:

      You mean like Congressman John Conyers and entrepreneur Russell Simmons, entertainer Bill Cosby…

    2. Jonathan Bowden says:

      Harvey Weinstein
      Matt Lauer
      Anthony Weiner
      Israel Horowitz
      Brett Ratner
      James Toback
      Richard Dreyfuss
      Louis C.K.
      Al Franken
      Jeremy Piven
      Jeffrey Tambor
      Dustin Hoffman
      Mark Halperin
      Richard Dreyfuss
      Oliver Stone
      Matthew Weiner
      David Blaine

      and now James Levine

      1. Brian says:

        And the U.S. president.

        1. Sue says:

          Clinton. Oh, sure.

          1. Deborah says:

            Sue, Are you trying to be ironic here??? Or just partisan??? Inquiring readers want to know…

  9. Ben says:

    There’s a lot more to come.

    This will be the end of the Metropolitan Opera.

    1. Sue says:

      It did nothing to hurt the career of Benjamin Britten.

      1. norman lebrecht says:

        Britten fell in love with boys. From all the evidence available, and there is plenty, he never attempted to molest them. Important to draw that line in the shifting sands.

        1. Edoardo says:

          And sublimated this in the beautiful and sometimes disturbing music he wrote for children voices

          1. Bruce says:

            Yes. And?

        2. Simon Scott says:

          Or was all else conveniently covered up?

          1. Henry Page says:

            There have been no complaints made against Benjamin Britten and the historical distance is no battier in the UK, I can assure you. Sue says ‘Yes’ rather too quickly because the fair-minded response is “we do not know one way or the other”. Who knows, someone may call him out, but until them we do not know.

          2. Henry Page says:

            Apologies, not battier, barrier … my eyes are dim with the night …

      2. herrera says:

        Levine never conducted Death in Venice or Billy Budd or Peter Grimes.

        Deep sense of guilt and identification?

        1. Bruce says:

          Neither did Abbado. Just sayin.

    2. John Kelly says:

      It may be the end of Levine, it may be the end of Gelb and members of the Board. It’s not the end of the Metropolitan Opera.

  10. William Wilde says:

    The 17th century composer Johann Rosenmueller spent time in jail in Leipzig, before absconding for Venice for something similar.

  11. Yehuda says:

    These men in the dock..
    Wieseltier, Weinstein, Hoffmann, Wiener, Louis CK, Levine, Allen,
    Halperin, Lauer, Toback, Dreyfus, Seagel, Ratner, Kreisberg, Stone, Tambor…
    What ever happened to the nice Jewish boys?
    Yes, there are token goys on the list as well, but really!

    1. The View From America says:

      You forgot Franken.

      1. Sue says:

        And Polanski.

    2. Antonia says:

      And Lauer.

      Yes, but Cosby…Trump…Conyers…Bill Clinton…

      1. DLH says:

        Kennedy. (several of them)

    3. Liloloperaluv says:

      The revelations are coming out of 2 professions where Jews are more numerous than in other professions. Then there is that other profession with many perpetrators and no Jews: catholic priesthood.

  12. Elvira says:

    Bravo,the center for arts is going to be the jail!

  13. David Boxwell says:

    JL’s victim describes a textbook case of “grooming” over many years and encounters.

  14. Tom Moore says:

    one might ask how the Boston SO could hire Levine knowing this (which they must have known).

    1. Herr Doktor says:

      I was told by someone I personally know, who is close to a BSO board member, that the BSO board knew exactly who and what they were hiring.

      Even though I hardly know everyone, I’m quite sure that no insiders are surprised by this news.

    2. William Osborne says:

      The rumors also surfaced when Levine was being considered for the Munich Phil job, so they required him to provide his police record. Nothing had been reported, so they hired him. Given the substantial rumors, the Met and New York Times had sufficient cause to investigate the matter for decades. We might ask ourselves what kind of profession turns a blind eye to child abuse?

  15. Ben says:

    Ronald Wilford is lucky he’s dead. Where’s Volpe? Jonathan Friend? We’ll show well Gelb fares.

    The house survives by donations, only. This will be a severe blow to the board and donor base.

    1. Antonia says:

      I’ve stopped attending Met operas due to their increasing sleaziness. Simulated sex on the floor in “Carmen”. Alagna kissing the breast of his co-star. (Forget who that was.) Really?

      This latest development, of which I had no idea, just adds to the sleaze already there. I used to be a supporting member, but not anymore.

      Wrote to them to tell them why. The response? “Audiences today want ‘edgy’.” OK, well not this audience member.

      1. Sue says:

        My points, exactly. “As ye sow….” (Listening for the howls of protest about somebody who advocates some kind of morality!)

      2. John Kelly says:

        …………..audiences don’t want edgy, they want great singing and great performances. But the reply you got is one reason why the Met is failing. Gelb thinks it’s a bread and circuses exercise, perhaps reflecting too much time spent around Schulhof, Guber and Peters at Columbia Pictures (Sony) who just wanted to make blockbuster movies with Stallone and Schwarzenegger even when both were well past their sell-by dates…………….

  16. Ungeheuer says:

    Well, it was only a matter of time before the news went public at last, as it has been a long-standing rumor in the business. Perhaps the man conducted his own Requiem this afternoon.

    1. Oyevey says:

      And perhaps Gelb’s requiem as well.

      1. Ungeheuer says:

        Yes, I think Levine played the fiddle for the last time yesterday, for himself and for Gelb. It is being reported, after all, that Gelb and the Met board had been informed of the police report sometime in 2016. And yet, Gelb and the board did nothing about it and continued engaging Levine at the Met. This is clearly a case of protecting their boy and outright complicity with crime. So, this requires house cleaning: Gelb and the entire board must resign immediately. And good luck to Levine, who ought to be banned everywhere for life, and I mean the world over, effective immediately.

        1. Henry Page says:

          You are clearly a principled defender of innocence until proven guilty

    2. Ken in Boston says:

      My thoughts exactly

  17. Has-been says:

    Might it not be prudent to analyse/determine the credibility of the accusation before rushing to judgement. The fact that there have been rumours for decades does not make anything true.

    1. AMetFan says:

      The only sensible comment on this thread. Thank you.

      1. Welcometotheboard says:

        Welcome to the board, Maestro.

    2. Henry Page says:

      The seriousness/validity of the accusation will hinge on the legal interpretation of ‘position of trust’. Under UK law Levine would have made no error if the relationship was mutally consented (Universally 16 in the UK) but would be culpable if had had used a position of trust.

    3. George says:

      We are not only living in a “post truth” age but a “post proof” age. It’s all down to trial by media.

  18. Jan Kaznowski says:

    The newsgroup rec.music.classical was discussing these rumours 20 years ago.

  19. Has-been says:

    Coincidentally TCM is showing The Children’s Hour this evening.

  20. Siegfried says:

    God Bless America
    Land that I love
    Stand beside her
    And guide her
    Through the night
    With the light
    From above…..jawohl!

    And get this: Gustav Mahler, honorary American, ATE IT!
    …a matter of no urgency to The Mahler Industry, where money speaks with the tongues of angels, matters of abuse of power be damned. Don’t y’know.
    Donald Trump: Hiýa, fella!

    1. Dmitri Knipper says:

      Huh?

    2. harold braun says:

      ????

    3. Olassus says:

      Hagen, get over here.

  21. Mark says:

    What the heck happened to the presumption of innocence ? This is a full-blown witch hunt. Nobody in their right mind would entertain unfounded accusations of theft, for example. Let the police investigate, if there is evidence of any sort – present it. At any case, Levine cannot be charged on the basis of this complaint, as the statute of limitations has run out.
    I recall a conversation I had with an old NYC crime reporter years ago, who told me that he and his colleagues from all the city newspapers investigated this story in the early 80s and unanimously determined that it was nothing but baseless rumors.

    1. Dave says:

      Witch hunt? Hmmm.. I haven’t seen very many denials from these so-called predators. Most of them have gone underground and are hiding out until things cool down. I somehow doubt these stories will blow over for most of these men.

      1. George says:

        Denial would be taken as another sign of guilt. Welcome to the inquisition.

    2. Sue says:

      The only sane comment here, apart from my own excellent ones! 🙂

      It’s definitely a return to the name and shame, finger-wagging excesses of HUAC. Let the rule of law apply where it may and let offenders have their days in court if they have criminally molested anybody, especially a minor. “Are you now or have you ever been knowingly part of a coterie of abusers, harassers or molesters?” Se how it works?

      After you’ve done that look at the sleaze of popular culture and see what message that sends at home and abroad about the value of sexuality – especially female sexuality. I have a distinct recollection of Madonna in an erotic pose with the figure of Christ. Yes, that was a low point in a pond of ever-deepening moral depravity. The opportunity cost of this is what you’ve just been reading about; an entitlement to degrade.

      1. Henry Page says:

        “look at the sleaze of popular culture and see what message that sends at home and abroad about the value of sexuality – especially female sexuality. I have a distinct recollection of Madonna in an erotic pose with the figure of Christ. Yes, that was a low point in a pond of ever-deepening moral depravity.”

        Sue, if you are going to balance your arguments on the scales of morality then best not quote Jesus, who was sent to earth by his father to be murderously sacrificed to save humanity. The central message of the New Testament is predicated on infanticide and extreme torture, hardly a moral message.

    3. The View from America says:

      A valiant attempt of a defense, but it’s getting obliterated by the news reports coming fast and furious.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/03/arts/music/james-levine-met-opera.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

      This is a fast-developing story, and like the proverbial snowball heading down the mountain, it’s fixing to destroy everything in its path.

      1. George says:

        “it’s fixing to destroy everything in its path.” It was created to destroy everything in its path.

  22. Steven Honigberg says:

    Because of multiple sexual misconduct allegations, Levine should NEVER have been considered for a Kennedy Center Honor Award given to him in 2002, leaving so many of us bewildered. Levine’s Kennedy Center Honor denigrates the honor. There must be some mechanism in place to take back these awards. Bill Cosby – Mark Twain Award? A Joke.

  23. brian hysong says:

    DITTO STEVE!

    1. Blair Tindall says:

      Hi Brian! Yes, this whole thing is emblematic of how poorly rank-and-file musicians and aspiring young talent are used as fuel for the nonprofit arts machine.

  24. Me says:

    This boy if what he says is true began willingly and repeatedly from the age of 16 through to 23 (barring 1 or 2 years over 18 an adult) having repeat sporadic contact with Levine that he constantly tried to play/ get things from (a college recommendation “gifts” over the years he says totaled $50k that is a rent boy a hustler

    1. laurie says:

      what a strange comment. ignorant too . let me enlighten you about the law in Illinois

      Illinois Age of Consent & Sex Laws Illinois Age of Consent Laws 2017

      The Illinois Age of Consent is 17 years old. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 16 or younger in Illinois are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.

      Illinois statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 17. However, if the offender is in a position of authority or trust over the victim, the age of consent is raised to 18.

      1. Me says:

        So he was one year of the 8 one year below consent under current law – and as I wrote it is not at all clear that was the case in the year at issue (1985) so you are the ignorant one most states around that time had no teenager (male) statutory rape laws

        1. Sanity says:

          You have no idea what grooming is, do you?

          1. Me says:

            She called me ignorant for pointing out likely no statutory rape age for males then; I understand grooming and that a 16 year old who sporadically had sex with a man until he was 23 and kept taking things and expecting things from him (college recommendation $50k) more of a hustler and rent boy then groomed child; he mentions repeatedly meeting Levine for sex over years mostly as an adult

          2. Paul Emmons says:

            >You have no idea what grooming is, do you?

            It’s what men do to women they’d like to marry. At the wedding, they’re even referred to as “the groom.”

            Someone else will have to explain what makes it so much worse in a homosexual context.

    2. Henry Page says:

      A fine line that but in the UK that would be both correct and incorrect. The universal age of consent here is 16, so that relationship would not be illegal IF the parties are equal (one is not subordinate to the other). If a ‘position of trust’ on the part of the older person prevails then the age is raised to 18. The argument would be around the legal definition of ‘position of trust’.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Let’s hope this opens the floodgates.

    I know of houses in Germany where the majority of the administration indulge in a sexual aggressive manner towards their singers. The singers are too poorly paid, and too insecure in their employment, to speak to up. When they report incidents, they are not followed up.

    Inevitably, the abuse is covered up and the perpetrator is left free to carry on climbing the greasy pole…

  26. Henry Page says:

    What amazes me is that the Hollywood child abusers seem to be Teflon-coated where this is concerned. How many times have the upper echelons of film production been runoured or even accused of sexual abuse (boys) but the perpetrators walk free. Why are the Hollywood elite allowed to get away this? I appreciate that Weinstein is a start, but young men have committed suicide over the abuse they have suffered. Time to call it out!

  27. herrera says:

    The Ravinia Festival and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra need to cut ties with [redacted] immediately.

    Ravinia appointed Levine Conductor Laureate this year.

    1. herrera says:

      Actually, Ravinia and the CSO won’t have to do anything, if there is an active investigation in Illinois and possibly even a subpoena for him to show up for a deposition in a civil suit or perhaps a warrant for his arrest in a criminal indictment,, Levine won’t ever set foot in Illinois for the rest of his natural life, like Polanski never going back to Los Angeles.

      It’d be ironic if Ravinia sued Levine for not honoring his contract.

  28. herrera says:

    OMG, Levine started grooming him at 4 years old!

    “It was at one such Ravinia concert in 1973 when the alleged victim, then a 4-year-old boy living in a nearby suburb, was taken backstage by his parents to meet the great maestro.

    The boy would see the conductor during subsequent summer visits to the festival and, according to the police account he later gave as an adult, the older man “took an interest” in him, even sending conductors’ batons and other gifts to his home.

    The alleged victim said he did not see Levine for several years starting at age 10 and met him again at 14 when he started going backstage at Ravinia on his own, according to the report.

    In 1985, when the alleged victim was 15…”

  29. harold braun says:

    But he took the 50.000 bucks,found out only recently(i.e.30 plus years after)how the incidents afflicted his life in a negative way(maybe the 50.000 are used up).
    Hypocrisy writ large!

  30. harold braun says:

    But he took the 50.000 bucks,found out only recently(i.e.30 plus years after)how the incidents afflicted his life in a negative way(maybe the 50.000 are used up).
    Hypocrisy writ large!This guy is a hustler!

    1. herrera says:

      Would you let Levine have sex with your 15 year old son if he paid you $50,000?

      1. Henry Page says:

        The accuser claims that this did not happen until he was 16 actually. If you are going to comment about accusations it should at least reflect the alleged facts. I would not be happy if this was my son, but age different relationships have been around since time immemorial. The argument here hinges on jurisdiction/the age of consent and any ‘position of trust’ implications.

        1. herrera says:

          I can imagine your conversation with your 16 year old:

          “Son, I am not happy, but age different relationships have been around since Joseph married teenage Mary and immaculately conceived Jesus, and to be honest, the jurisdiction in which that old man boinked you has an age of consent of 16, so who am I to judge as your father? Just don’t let me catch him boinking you across the state line, where the age of consent is 17, then I’ll get righteously mad!”

          1. harold braun says:

            Bull.The point is not what i would have told my son.The point is the boy did it,continuing for years,taking the bucks,hoping for the big break…Greed and ego obviously were stronger than his scruples….

          2. Henry says:

            We have one age of consent in the UK and that’s 16, and the conversation you surmise would not be the one that I would have were the relationship to be unequal or improper. What about Tom Daley and LA center Black who are married with a 20 year age difference. What would you do if it was your 16 year old daughter? Think Jerry Lewis, Elvis Presley and many other Americans. Don’t be hasty to make judgments about others who have a right to their relationship as only a minority are abusive.

  31. Nick says:

    This page is too much like one out of a trash publication like The National Enquirer. A specific allegation has been made. Period. Others in the business have heard multiple rumours, some disturbing, even to the extent of at least one major organisations paying off the parents of alleged accusers

    But there is neither an admission of guilt nor actual proof as far as i am aware, barring the statement from one man. No doubt we will find out in due time – if only because these are the times in which we live. Everyone has a right to a day in court – both accused and accuser. Yet most correspondents here are writing as though guilt has already been established and the firing squad made ready.

    Whatever the truth, shouldn’t we all be taking a deep breath first instead of pointing the accusing finger of “I told you so”? Paedophilia is a nauseating, disgusting crime that violates our children and in many cases destroys what is left of their childhood. Those found guilty deserve the punishment they will receive. But accusations are not guilt. Let the law take its course. Thereafter recriminations can begin.

    1. J. says:

      Just wait for the next few days, until Levine apologizes himself, like the other men.

      1. Nick says:

        You said it – “Just wait!” Wait till events unfold rather than making all forms of assumptions.

        1. harold braun says:

          Correct!

    2. Simon Scott says:

      This is one of the cancers o f society. It is nothing new.
      It must be operated on. The surgeon wll have a long task in front of him. Take it or leave it IT HAS TO BE DONE.
      As England’s greatest hero,Admiral Lord Nelson,said ” THE ONLY PURPOSE OF MEETING THE ENEMY IS TOTAL DESTRUCTION” I am nauseated by this state of affairs. Levine? Hang the bastard

      1. Henry Page says:

        Does justice matter to you at all? Or is blind vengeance good enough? It’s what used to happen in the deep south all those decades ago: wasn’t it Bille Holiday that sang about it:

        Southern trees bear strange fruit
        Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
        Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
        Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees…

        Are you not past that kind of biblical retribution yet? Pity.

  32. Riccardo says:

    The media has missed the larger scope of this problem. While at the MET Levine insulated himself with a group of gay administrators. These men, for the most part, had no interest in working with non-gay artists. If you were already famous or had a powerful agent than you might sneak through the doors, but the average heterosexual artist without backing had no chance of being employed there.

    BUT this seems to be the case all over the world in Arts organizations. When powerful gay men are in charge, the Mafia’s interests prevail. Except for the fact that he possibly broke the law and should be in jail, his private life becomes almost minor when considering the damage his management tactics have had on the industry. When will the music business get back to basics and focus on the INTEGRITY of the music, rather than promoting someone because they are gay, or a minority, or younger than younger!

    The business needs first rate artists to perform first rate music, not substandard musicians in positions they don’t deserve just because of their political connections.

    1. Henry Page says:

      “BUT this seems to be the case all over the world in Arts organizations”

      Sorry but that is simply untrue. What evidence do you have that the performance arts worldwide is run by a gay mafia, because that is what you are saying. I would accept that there is a greater percentage of gay people in arts than, say, in sports, but the reasons for that are obvious to anyone: the arts world is simply more open minded than the sports world.

      Your comment defies basic common sense as it has an almost propagandist ring about it. Of course I cannot speak for The Met as I have no detailed knowledge of those within, but an art Mafia generally, worldwide? Please, it is just too silly.

  33. Morris Belemans says:

    He was an american. He was an economic hustler and a narcissist. Reports of “inappropriate” conduct were many yet never acted on or buried b/c he was the Mets/BSO’s golden boy.
    Is this really surprising to anyone with working frontal lobes?

  34. Morris Belemans says:

    Also, Riccardo is spot on about his cadre of PR/HR folks in the Met protecting him and only hiring/promoting gays. Good luck if you were not “known” and not gay. This is WIDE spread at musical training academies of the west, institutes, festivals, etc… That’s american reality. Of course, this won’t be discussed b/c the us “news” has a story to sell and the american PC spin won’t permit critical thinking.


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