James Levine victim: I was silenced by the New Yorker

James Levine victim: I was silenced by the New Yorker


norman lebrecht

April 03, 2018

Ashok Pai, whose abuse testimony in the New York Post was the first act in the downfall of the Metropolitan Opera music director, has been talking to Radar online about the long road to publishing his allegations.

He took his story first to the New Yorker where, he says, both critic Alex Ross and reporter James Stewart fobbed him off.

In an email to Stewart he writes: ‘I do want to reflect again about Alex Ross and his screaming at me, I want to make sure you are clear I think it’s totally unethical, inappropriate and wrong for Alex Ross to speak and yell at a sex abuse victim the way he did with me.’

Read his full account here.

UPDATE: Alex Ross has been in touch to say that he disputes this account of his conversation with Ashok Pai.

Radar also publishes a conversation transcript between Pai and James Levine:


JL: You’re defining my part and your part. You’re telling me what you can do and what I can do. And if I don’t buy that hook, line and sinker, then I’m a bad person.

AP: Emhmm. Um.

JL: My phone’s running out and I’m over pass anyway. I will either call you back a little later if I get a hole again or I will call you back again on Sunday. And if I can’t call at length, I’ll call short. Ok?

His reasons for recording this conversation are unclear.

Pai’s story was later told both by the Post anonymously and by the Times with his full name.

Levine, who denies the accusations, is now suing the Met for unfair dismissal.


  • V.Lind says:

    Well, Warren, not a pretty story. I have long been wary of Alex Ross, while admiring much of his work, but I had a lot of faith in Remnick. I would like to know what if any pressure was brought on him to keep stumm. Or whether he is just too up the establishment’s posterior to break the code.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      ??? . . . what in the world does Nezet-Seguin have to do with this?

      By the way, I listen to many of the Philadelphia Orchestra broadcasts on Sirius XM and they sound pretty darn good to me – much more exciting (and musical) that what’s going on in S.F. these days (my nearest big orchestra)

  • Caravaggio says:

    It is not just Alex Ross but the entire New York City media establishment that failed to investigate and report on Levine despite decades of rumors. They merely acted as paid puppets and publicists for Levine and mouthpieces and cheerleaders for all things Metropolitan Opera. We are seeing the same lazy trend today with Nézet-Séguin, who apparently can do no wrong.

    • MWnyc says:

      No. Levine was investigated several times by reporters in New York and elsewhere (as last year’s coverage made clear if you were paying attention). But, until last year, none of the longstanding rumors were substantiated – which is to say that none of the victims were willing to come forward on the record, and none who were willing to tell their stories without being named (if there were any) could provide any kind of corroboration (such as people whom they told at the time). And without that, all anyone had about Levine were rumors, and no media outlet with any good reputation or self-respect could publish a story based only on unsubstantiated rumors.

      That is why no story made it into print until Ashok Pai was willing to let his name be used and could show he had made a police report.

      • Rgiarola says:

        Bravo! Anyone that has a minimum idea of legal process, do not agree with lynching citizens by other citizens. If a person don’t trust in the State, she/he us the same kind of KKK. Don”t believe they think they are wrong to do justice with their own hand, because they all say they are tired to wait a proper response from authorities. Like the ones now attacking JL.

    • Michael Comins says:

      In relation to sexual abuse which this thread is about, the false equivalence of Levine to Segin is ludicrous. Further, as one who’s watched/listened to YNS’ performances for years, I can attest to his very real gifts as a musician.

      • Caravaggio says:

        When I wrote “We are seeing the same lazy trend today with Nézet-Séguin, who apparently can do no wrong” I wasn’t implying sexual misbehavior on the part of YN-S. What I was implying was hero worship and fawning. One would have to be blind to not notice the furious trend to elevate the man. This is where the “can do no wrong” comes in. See?

    • V.Lind says:

      What wrong do you suggest M.Nézet-Séguin has committed? I am not interested in comments on his musicianship — as with most conductors, he has his admirers and detractors. But the consensus is on his side — great appointments from an early age, and enthusiastic fans internationally.

      There is a big difference between conducting a Tristan that you do not like as well as someone else’s (or even think is poor) and abusing people over whom you have power and authority. Mr. Levine has been accused of the latter. Widely. And it appears the New York media has been reluctant to investigate until very lately. These things are rarely susceptible of court-convincing proof — there are usually no witnesses. But then the same or similar stories keep coming out, you have to wonder.

      If New York is enthusiastic for YN-S, it is because he comes without baggage aside from a stellar musical résumé.

    • David Litven says:

      “Apparently he can do no wrong” (Nezet-Sequin). Is that because he’s Gay?

  • collin says:

    The thing with Alex Ross, and James Stewart (and Tommasini at the NYT, and by the way, both Ross and Tommasini have written short mea culpas of sorts for their laissez-faire coverage of James Levine’s rumored sexual abuses), is that they are all gay men of a certain generation that experienced and internalized a lot of the homophobia of their time, which included a lot of innuendoes and false equating of being gay, being closeted, and being pedophiles, so they really didn’t know how to deal with disentangling dangerous insidious prejudices from real claims of actual sexual abuse.

    And to be fair, Ross is not an investigative reporter, so I don’t know why Pai went to Ross, a smart music critic to be sure but never was he a journalist much less an investigative one. Stewart is a fine investigative reporter, but his domain is business. Why didn’t Pai approach Ronan Farrow who had just broken the Weinstein story for the New Yorker and is a proven dogged and persistent and fearsome investigative journalist unafraid of and unbowed by star power?

    • MWnyc says:

      “The thing with Alex Ross, and James Stewart (and Tommasini at the NYT …), is that they are all gay men of a certain generation”

      Not exactly. Ross is a full 20 years younger than Tommasini (who turns 70 this year) and 15 years younger than Stewart,

      Having just read the Radar piece (which, for what it’s worth, was posted with no byline), I have to say that

      1) the transcript of the phone conversation by itself includes nothing incriminating, and if it includes all of the recording that Pai shared with other reporters, then the recording is pretty much worthless as evidence;

      2) I believe that the story Pai told to the NY Times only alleged abuse back in the ’70s – maybe up to the early ’80s. Here, evidently for the first time, Pai claims that the abuse lasted until 2009-10 – at which point Pai was in his 40s, and, he says, sober for almost a decade; and

      3) if the text that’s in the Radar article is what Pai submitted to Remnick, then if I’d been Remnick, I wouldn’t have published it, either.

      Mind you, I’m not arguing that Levine is innocent of every charge thrown at him. But Pai, as depicted in this Radar article, does not come across as trustworthy, and I can’t blame the NY Times or The New Yorker for not going ahead with a story before getting allegations from another individual.

    • Brian says:

      Agreed, if I had a story like this to tell, I’d go to a crack investigative reporter who was skilled at handling sensitive information.

      And Ross has written a number of glowing pieces about Levine over the years – I wonder if Pai did his research before approaching him.

      In any case, props to Michael Cooper and to the NY Post reporters who finally got the story out there.

    • José says:

      And to be fair, Ross is not an investigative reporter, so I don’t know why Pai went to Ross, a smart music critic to be sure but never was he a journalist much less an investigative one.

      The whole point is here. As a journalist I can say you are correct. This is not Alex’s job, but a reporter’s.

    • Sue says:

      Completely representative of the great cross section of the society then? Like their newspaper.

  • anon says:

    1) Let me get this straight (no pun intended): the editor of the New Yorker asked the accuser to write a short personal account of the matter that would’ve/could’ve been published in the New Yorker, and he, the accuser, turned the offer down?

    Is he mad? Who turns down the New Yorker to be published? There are people who spend a life time submitting stuff to get published in the New Yorker and never get a chance!

    2) Any 49 year old man who still wears bangs can’t be taken seriously. Even Justin Bieber stopped wearing bangs.

    Am I being too bitchy?

    • Rgiarola says:

      No, you are no too bitchy

    • Bruce says:

      “Am I being too bitchy?”

      Oh no, not at all. A person’s hair style is a totally accurate barometer of his credibility.

      (To be fair, it’s possible that being published in the New Yorker at the expense of your life as a private citizen may not be everyone’s ambition; it seems like, at the time, it looked like there were other avenues that would not involve making his name public.)

  • Been Here Before says:

    No wonder nobody took this guy seriously. Quoting from his written account submitted to The New Yorker:

    “…and in the many writings of Warren Lebrecht, author of the book Who Killed Classical Music, referred to Levine’s pedophilia…”

  • Marcus says:

    Personally, I am glad Mr. Pai went public with his account of sexual abuse by Mr. Levine, regardless of whatever media outet he used. His story led, more or less, to the Met’s firing of Levine, which is a good thing to be sure. Levine was there far too long, and it is a great thing that they are rid of him, especially if he was engaging in sexual abuse and harassment, as the Met’s internal investigation has determined.
    Levine was a mediocre conductor at best, and it is best for the Met that he is gone.
    Case closed………

    • Mark says:

      Really, a mediocre conductor ? Szell, Karajan and Bernstein, among many others, disagree with you. Not to mention the several generations of distribguished opera singers …

    • Rgiarola says:

      I can’t stand many conductors. I think LA Philharmonic proved to be only the biggest hype name, in the last decade for example. There is a huge difference between giving up a conductor that didn’t work and destroy her/his reputation. However, it’s seems you don’t care. Let’s just remove the “case” ASAP, because you don’t like his work, regardless the huge number of other people that perhaps enjoy.

      The point here since the beginning isn’t JL musical skills, but the accusations about a crime against him. You lost the track.

      I think you can see only you in the whole planet…

      • Saxon Broken says:

        No, it is not an accusation that there has been a crime, but an accusation of seriously unethical behaviour. There is a difference.

  • Alex Davies says:

    What does it mean, to be “over pass”? Is this an American term or something used in the music business or perhaps something used specifically by Americans in the music business?

    • Bruce says:

      I’m American (or, in a nod to V. Lind, a United Statesian) and I have no idea what he meant.

      Maybe he was in a car, going under an overpass, which can sometimes cut the signal on a cell phone?

      Sometimes, when you transcribe someone’s speech with 100% accuracy (including every “uhhh/ umm” etc.), there can be things which make no sense on paper but would make sense if you could hear the person actually speaking.

    • Sharon says:

      Could the “pass” be the free time the conductor has during an intermission or rehearsal?

    • Antonia says:

      I, too, am from the U.S. and didn’t understand this usage. So, don’t feel badly!

  • Corey Altman says:

    I agree with Marcus 100%! It is high time the Met has new musical leadership. Maestro Levine has been on the podium at the Met far too long. It will be such a treat to hear someone else conduct the “Ring”, Falstaff, and Pelleas and Melisande next season.
    However his sexual abuse and harassing behavior was discovered, it was long overdue.
    I can enjoy attending the Met now without having to dread hearing his horrible conducting.
    Bring on Yannick!!!!!!!!

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    Mr Pai tolerated some sort of ‘abusive’ relationship with Levine for 23 years, based on his statement……

    “Shoky didn’t tell anyone about the sexual acts except for his best friend. It continued until 2009 when Shoky finally realized Levine was only after “the physical stuff.””

    So from age 16 to age 39 he seemed unable to say No and it took him all that time to realise that Levine was “only after the physical stuff”.

    No wonder those he approached may have treated his claims with a degree of incredulity.

    The comments here about The New Yorker and NYT, particularly those relating to Ross, Stewart and Tommasini have the strong odour of homophobia attached to them and much of what is being written is based on a blind willingness to believe the words of Ashok Pai.

    Mych of the commenting here looks more to me like the ongoing vendetta against the MET which is now being widened to include others in the seemingly complicit NY media.

    I, like everyone else here know no more than what has been written and my views of this latest revelation have as much or as little basis in fact as do the views of those who are all too keen to parade their prejudices about not just the Levine affair but more disturbingly the motives of those who might wish to take a more objective view of the Pai claims.

  • Sharon says:

    Again, Wow! As far as the New York Times and New Yorker not publishing the story, who can blame them? Maybe the New York Post does not care (is it still owned by Mudoch?) but the New York Times and New Yorker would be terrified about being sued and spending the money and time tied up in a long and complicated libel case. A libel lawsuit by Levine costing millions of dollars could destroy the New Yorker.
    I did not realize until I read Pai’s Facebook page and website of his company, Ethical and Efficacious, how involved he was in media (I had always wondered what he did for a living). Selling advertising to network TV, producing “ethical” and politically progressive shows and getting them sold, getting more progressive people in this internet age to watch more network TV even of these yet to be produced progressive shows, and buying a controlling portion of shares in companies to make them more ethical , all of which Ethical and Efficacious purports to be able to do or to want to do, would be incredibly difficult even if one had a lot of capital which I do not believe that Pai has.
    In other words, he is probably struggling.
    I am not in any way, shape, or form, doubting the veracity of Pai’s story or the difficulty he had in getting it out there. However, he certainly knows that, at least for him, there is no such thing as negative publicity. His accusations against Levine can only help him gain support for things like network TV talk shows or even an ongoing TV program on sexual harassment with progressive advertisers, or just in general to help publicize himself as a legitimate activist whom the vegan/progressive crowd can trust.
    As far as the actual abuse was concerned–Regular bloggers here know that I am a psychiatric nurse. Anyone who works in the human services field know how important it is to maintain a professional distance with one’s clients at all times. This is not only for the clients’ emotional health but also for one’s own safety. If a vulnerable client or patient becomes too dependent on a professional and the professional has to say no to a request of something that the client believes that he/she needs or deserves the client will feel betrayed. In the psychiatric hospital setting this means that one could actually be physically assaulted or lies , which the client may actually believe are true; when a psychiatric patient (or anyone else for that matter) feels betrayed his/her perspective often becomes distorted, reported to the police, a government inspection or oversight bureau, a professional licensing board or media outlet.
    In this case I strongly suspect that Levine sensed the emotional vulnerability of Pai which he encouraged and exacerbated by making extravagant promises (which Levine maybe half expected he might be able to keep or wanted to keep, at least some of them; interviews show that Levine was somewhat grandiose in his younger (under 50) years). I believe that this was also the case with Lestock who kept writing Levine probably hoping that Levine would keep him in mind for mentoring or professional opportunities.
    Just like Don Giovanni who was an expert at ferreting out the emotionally vulnerable and seducing them by promising marriage, Levine was an expert at ferreting out the vulnerable and seducing them by promising professional mentorship and success.
    Life truly imitates art. I cannot wait for the opera or movie!

    • V.Lind says:

      Could you PLEASE learn to paragraph? i.e. hit the space bar after every paragraph. Particularly as you often contribute very long posts, they are terribly difficult to read without correct spacing. Take a look at what others do and please copy.

    • Olassus says:

      Let’s not raise this pervert-bully to the level of Don Giovanni.

  • La Verita says:

    Well, Mr. Pai – mission accomplished: Levine’s career is toast – he’s been ruined beyond all hope of redemption. And, another conductor on the west coast who is about the same age as Levine and is known for the same behavior is quaking in his boots as he waits for his victims to unmask him. So, stay tuned…

  • Mark says:

    Yeah, he was “abused” until the age of 39, when some therapist convinced him that a consensual relationship of more than 20 years was a form “abuse”. Maybe this will be a new divorce strategy – Your Honor, we’ve been married 30 years, have 5 children together, but the helpful Dr. Jones across the street has helped me to understand that it was nothing but abuse, and therefore I want the house, the car and the bank account.

    The claims of this silly creature were investigated by the local police department, and no charges were filed, i.e. Levine was cleared.

    Can he please go away ?

    • Bill says:

      Again with the “no criminal charges filed, so no wrong behavior” theory. Do you think the NY Bar should do away with disciplinary proceedings? Surely if what some attorney was doing (or not doing) was wrong, it would be a criminal matter, right?

      This should not be taken as an attack on or defense of JL; I’m more curious about this notion of yours. With such a black-and-white view of the world as that suggests, it doesn’t seem like opera would be a natural interest…

      • Mark says:

        Bill, the Bar has written rules that the lawyers are obligated to observe by virtue of being the members of the Bar. Furthermore, the Bar (and other professional associations, such the medical or the dental association ) has a statutory right to regulate the profession and discipline its members.

        What written rule did Levine break ? I am not familiar with the Opera Code of Conduct. His contract contains no morals clause.

        I am not prone to pearl clutching and moralizing, sorry. Whatever isn’t prohibited by law, is allowed – period.

        • Bill says:

          Why have those rules, if breaking them does not constitute criminal behavior? You seem to be of the opinion that if it isn’t criminal, it’s fine. Feel free to ignore Levine’s connection to this topic; it really isn’t relevant, as I would ask the same questions about your viewpoint no matter who you were defending.

          Let’s flip it around, shall we? The Met management hasn’t been shown to have made any criminal actions with regards to Levine’s termination, has it? Maybe you should put your own pearls away – after all, no criminal charges, no problem…

          • Mark says:

            What I am saying is that the moral absolutes in a civilized society are codified in the form of criminal laws. All other moral norms are subjective, and I don’t care about other people’s moral notions any more than they care about mine.

            Levine’s relationship with the Met is contractual and will be adjudicated as such. Moral ideas have very little to do with the law of contracts (thankfully)

          • Rgiarola says:

            It’s remind me Bob Dylan quote: “To live outside the law, you must be honest.”. Moral is subjective, and anyone can be considered guilty by some ones, or not guilty by others. There is no point to destroy someone reputation just by the word of and accuser outside the proper law process. It’s been a long time since “Witness” isn’t consider the queen of the proves anymore. I can see only Circumstantial evidence that weren’t even taken to the court. Something that makes me believe It’s not true, especially considering that the accused is a person with financial resources and a prestige to defend. No one lose such a chance, if you want to talk about real world.

    • Sharon says:

      Mark, prior to and for a while during the time I was a nurse I also was a caseworker in child support enforcement. I can tell you that if there are five minor children involved who are with the wife, the wife, for the kids’ sake, DOES deserve the house, the car, and the bank account, regardless of the circumstances of the split!! I used to tell my clients that alimony, child support and property settlements are for the kids, not themselves; if they do not pursue a child support/alimony and a decent property settlement they are stealing from their kids.

      While this situation will be a great help to publicize Pai and his “progressive” media work neither he nor anyone else are suing or requesting financial compensation (except Levine). With the exception of Pai, the others who came forward did so at them cost of embarrassment and shame for themselves and their families. I strongly suspect that part of the reason the others waited to come forward was that they could not do so while their parents were alive.

  • Corey Altman says:

    Mr. Levine was in no way “cleared” by the Lake Forest police Dept.
    They didn’t file charges against him because of Mr. Pai’s age at the time, 16.
    At any rate the Met fired Levine as a result of their independant investigation, not because of Mr. Pai’s allegations. Given Mr. Levine’s history with the Met, I would assume their investigation must have turned up some pretty awful behavior on Levine’s part for them to fire him altogether. If Levine’s lawsuit against the Met ever goes to court, I can’t believe for a second that Levine or his attorney’s want the results of the Met’s investigation to come out.
    At any rate, I am glad he’s finally out.
    Time to move on…….

    • Mark says:

      I hope you are not an attorney, because if you are, you must have failed Criminal Procedure.

      If the Illinois investigation results contained even the merest hint of a crime having been committed, the case would have been presented to the grand jury. Any DA would want to see their name in lights, prosecuting a famous defendant. The fact that the local PD announced that no charges would be filed indicates that there was no “there” there – just a consensual relationship with a much younger man.
      So pathetic little Shoki Pai should get an adult haircut and fade back into obscurity.

      Levine’s lawsuit against the Met is based on two causes of action – a breach of contract and defamation. On the first one, his case is very strong – his contract includes no termination provision of any kind. It would be difficult for the Met to avoid compensating Levine.

      While defamation isn’t easy to prove in the US, Levine’s lawyers will definitely subpoena the Met investigation report.
      The Rules of Evidence would probably make many of the findings inadmissible.
      The same witnesses who gave the anonymous accounts of Levine’s alleged misdeeds will have to ever withdraw their statements or testify in court and face cross-examination by the redoubtable Messrs. Abramowitz and Little.

      Of course, the Met will fight it all the way, and might offer Levine a settlement. But I suspect he won’t give up – and I, for one, wish him well.

      • Bill says:

        “Any DA would want to see their name in lights”

        That’s distinctly different from what the ADAs of my acquaintance tell me. Their offices generally want no part of a famous defendant unless they are confident of victory. Oddly enough, botching a prosecution in a high-profile case doesn’t provide much of a career boost compared to winning.

        • Rgiarola says:

          So Bill, you are agreeing that the DAs of the mentioned case were’t confident of victory. Why do you think they were not? Because of the solid evidences against the accused? Or due to circunstancial ones such declarations by an accuser?

      • Sharon says:

        You don’t believe that Levine will take a settlement, not because he needs the money but just to prove a point? Why would he want to continue to work under Gelb when the Levine’s petition held Gelb responsible not only for the breach of contract but for creating hostile working conditions?

        • Mark says:

          Sharon, depends on the circumstances- if Levine’s lawyers manage to cast enough doubt on the results of the Met investigation and offer any credible evidence of Gelb’s bad faith (e.g. his instructions to Mr. Cleary were just not to investigate the matter, but to find a areason to dismiss Levine, or, if the witnesses were somehow compensated or induced to tell whether tales they had to tell), then Levine will fight on. Also, the Met’s losing the case (even partially) would likely lead to Gelb’s dismissal.

          • Sharon says:

            Seems to me, according to the petition, that Levine’s lawyers want to limit this to a simple breach of contract thing. If, as Levine’s petition argues, personal misconduct was not part of a contract stipulation that is still ongoing and if he did not engage in illegal sexual harassment at work during the contract period that he is under, then why is the investigation even relevant?

          • Mark says:

            There are two causes of action – a breach of contract and defamation. The Met’s lawyers will try to get creative and argue extraordinary circumstances and ask the court to read a hypothetical termination provision into the contract (or some other argument of that nature). They are unlikely to prevail here, although stranger things have happened.

            But the investigation and the identity of the witnesses are relevant to the defamation claim. I don’t think anybody wants any more of this sordid stuff to be made public, but Levine’s lawyers would want to discredit any witnesses the Met has.

      • Nancy says:

        Throughout this whole thread, your lively explanation of the pertinent law has made it a must read. Thanks for the insights.

  • Nancy says:

    Any editor at a major news outlet would have declined to let the Radar piece, as is, go to print. It is a deficient piece of work in its current state. For starters, why is there no byline? You don’t run a story like this without it being rock solid, bylined and lawyered. Accountability is important when you intend to make a case.

    Second, I do not find it surprising that a busy writer such as Alex Ross would decline to pursue this story on the basis of a phone call out of the blue from a stranger about incidents from the ’80s. He is an excellent critic and also a first-rate reporter, but even he has to deal with the pressures of a deadline, the management of his critic’s duties and all the other incoming story ideas, doubtless in the hundreds, that would have come across his desk during that same time period. Many story possibilities go by the wayside.

    Third, I have a problem with the transcript of the cellphone call as presented in the Radar story. It doesn’t seem to start at the beginning, and it does indeed seem as if the caller might have been trying to entrap Levine.

    I am not surprised that the editor did nothing as a result of the recording, but instead required Shoky’s first person account in writing. This, the accuser took more than a year to deliver, then wrote something fairly generalized and stipulated that it be off the record. The amount of time that passed is indeed problematic. Nearly two years.

    Radar is accusing these journalists of not doing their jobs. I would counter that they were probably doing their jobs by avoiding what appeared to be a risky bit of business given the law and the quality of the new evidence. Radar is clearly of the belief that the conventional major publications lacked integrity on this issue. Radar may be right. But the accuser is not going to be made well by pursuing this matter as Radar has done. Just go through the story and see how the adjectives lie. These arguments are recklessly loaded; Shoky’s best interest was not served.

    • V.Lind says:

      Ross is a sensible person to approach because he knows who the writer is talking about. He might have been assumed to know something of his reputation. Didn’t mean he had to handle the story — he could have passed it along with some background to an investigative reporter. Or taken it to his editor.

      This is/was an important New York story, the magazine’s remit. Shocking they were so lax in at least investigating it.

      • Cyril Blair says:

        Exactly right. It’s not Ross’s bailiwick to write this particular kind of investigative piece, but with both him and Remnick involved, it’s hard to believe they couldn’t find some New Yorker reporter/writer to investigate the story.

        And incidentally the Radar story is terrible, typos and missing words and just garbage in general (aside from the truth of the accuser’s account).

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    What a load of crap. He thinks he was a victim when he was not, and he expected to be treated a special way by the media he never should have talked to. He’s a head case. And Alex Ross writes well, but his understanding of music is utterly mediocre. I hate to feel sorry for James Levine, but I do, and I hope his lawsuit against the Met is successful, and I hope it’s followed by successful lawsuits against the fading New Yorker and the sloppy New York Times. The media is more at fault than the “accusers” in this mess. One has to wonder, when everyone hears the rumors, far away from the Met, even, how anyone becomes a victim. And why has no one ever mentioned Philip Creech? Half the rumors were about him owing his career to being Levine’s lover.

  • Daniel Kravetz says:

    If he wanted the press to break the story, he should have gone straight to the NATIONAL ENQUIRER.

  • Sharon says:

    Does anyone know how the story actually first came out, I believe in the NY Post? How did the Post find out about this story? Did Pai go to the NY Post after being rejected by the Times and the New Yorker?

  • Sharon says:

    I looked up Creech on Google. Considering that he had sung so frequently at the Met I am surprised that there is very little mention of him anywhere. I could not even find an obituary on Slipped Disc in 2017 when he died. Unusual for a lead Met Singer. Was he mainly based in Europe? Why has his name disappeared into obscurity?

    • Nancy says:

      I guess the simple answer is that most names disappear into obscurity. Philip Creech was reliable artist that I often thought of as a house tenor. The kind of essential man who is a flexible actor and accomplished of many comprimario roles. No big opera company can exist without such artists. In the mid- ’70s, he was in the “Salome” cast that Solti took to Carnegie Hall. And he sang under Giulini in Schumann’s “Paradies und die Peri” in Chicago. So I think others saw promise in him early on, but it did not sort out that way.

      • Philip Kraus says:

        Perhaps Philip Creech’s obscurity owes to the fact that vocally, he should have never been at the Met. He had a strangulated sound (Dudley Do-Right syndrome) brought on by poor vocal technique where the walls of the pharynx are not relaxed and free; some singers refer to at “grip”. One can only think that Mr. Creech totally owed his career to being one of Levine’s favored boys.

  • anon says:

    Mr. Pai realized he was abused at the age of 39 when he realized he had no talent at the age of 39.

    There is a Code of Conduct for sugar daddies: James Levine should have adopted Pai as his adult son.

    Oh, sorry, that was the Old Code of Conduct from the early 1980s.

    The New Code of Conduct: James Levine should have married Pai, divorced him, given him alimony.

    Oh, sorry, that was the Old New Code of Conduct from the 20th Century.

    The New New Code of Conduct for the 21st Century: Levine should have paid Pai equitable wages or his services, including health care and social security contributions.

    • Sharon says:

      I believe that a large part of Pai’s ( a 1980s-1990’s guy) issue was that he was feeling he was like a sex worker and unlike the 21st century guy did not feel comfortable being one (although he might defend sex workers’ rights through his company Ethical and Efficacious).

  • YoYo Mama says:

    What a ridiculous accusation. It simply lies far outside the subject matter of the New Yorker. Or should.

  • Hilary says:

    Ashok Pai doesn’t feel very concrete as a case. I’m not surprised Ross wasn’t interested.

  • Mark says:

    I am mystified how at, 17, the age of consent you can engage in sexual activities with a person and continue those activities until you are 40 years old and, then, claim you were abused.If a person decides to be ‘gay for pay’ and feels the gifts the person lavished on them for 20+ years were not enough, might it not be more appropriate to sue for breach of contract?