A Statement from Bettina (Betsy) B. Plevan, Partner, Proskauer, Counsel for the Metropolitan Opera
The Met terminated Mr. Levine’s contract on March 12, following an in-depth investigation that uncovered credible and corroborated evidence of sexual misconduct during his time at the Met, as well as earlier. It is shocking that Mr. Levine has refused to accept responsibility for his actions, and has today [March 15] instead decided to lash out at the Met with a suit riddled with untruths. There is no basis for Mr. Levine’s assertion that the Met was on a vendetta against him, when in fact the Met supported him through prolonged and repeated periods of illness that kept him from the podium, at one point spanning two entire seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13). The Met only transitioned him from Music Director to Music Director Emeritus at the end of the 2015-16 season when it became obvious that Levine was no longer physically capable of carrying out his duties as Music Director. Nonetheless, the Met continued to support him in the position of Music Director Emeritus, a position created especially for him, and only suspended its relationship with him when Levine was accused of multiple acts of sexual misconduct, charges that have been corroborated following a more than three-month investigation. During the course of the investigation, Mr. Levine was offered numerous opportunities to be interviewed, beginning in December. It was only when the investigation was wrapping up, upon realization that termination was imminent, that he agreed to be interviewed, but on impossible terms, asking that the identity of his accusers, who had been promised anonymity, be disclosed. The Met intends to defend this case vigorously.