Mortier did not slander conductor, judge rules

Mortier did not slander conductor, judge rules


norman lebrecht

January 31, 2014

The libel action brought by Jesús López Cobos against the former Teatro Real director Gerard Mortier has been thrown out by a judge in Madrid lower court 48. López Cobos claimed that Mortier had defamed him in an Austrian interview  by saying the conductor had been fired from his post as music director at the Real.

The judge ruled that a conductor, being in a public position, must accept adverse opinion and critical statements as part of his job.

Victory for free speech? First report (as so often) in el pais.


gerard mortier


  • Modicum says:

    Whatever the outcome, I have worked with Jesus, and he is a decent, honorable man, not prone to flying off the handle or acting rashly. Don’t know this case, but seems to be just another view of the underbelly of a ‘business’ that can, at times, reward ‘whores’ and ruin decent lives.

  • ed says:

    There is a difference, at least in the States, between an invasion of privacy, where a public figure has less of a claim, and libel, and it sounds as if the judge may have confused the two- though in Madrid maybe it is the law itself which confuses or fails to distinguish them. Public figures should be as protected against untruths spread about them as those of us who live in the forest, and it is usually the most decent folk who are hurt the most. At least, there is the consolation, however, that the end it all passes and no one else really remembers or cares – unless it is the NSA or FBI (or your insurance company) saving it for some nefarious use later.