Metropolitan Opera fires music director emeritus, Cincinnati native James Levine

James Levine in 2009

The Metropolitan Opera has fired Music Director Emeritus James Levine after finding credible evidence supporting a string of longstanding sexual assault and abuse allegations.

The Met reported, however, that they found no substantiating evidence that the Met's management or its board of directors "engaged in a cover-up of information".

The more than three-month-long investigation involved interviews with more than 70 individuals, according to the Met.

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Following the death of Leonard Bernstein in 1990, Levine was regarded as the top American conductor and was given a starring role in the film "Fantasia 2000". The Met also appointed attorney Robert J. Cleary, a former US attorney and the current head of the investigations practice at the Proskauer Rose law firm, to lead the investigation into the allegations that took place from the 1960s to 1980s. At the time, Levine denied the allegations against him.

Levine was suspended by the Met in December pending the investigation, after he had been accused of molesting a teenage boy in the northern suburbs. He was also music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Levine is one of the latest public figures whose career has been tarnished after the Me Too and Time's Up movements began in the fall of 2017.

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Chris Brown said that Levine had abused him in the summer of 1968, when he was a 17-year-old student at the Meadow Brook School of Music in MI and Levine led the school's orchestral institute.

Jessica Philips, a clarinetist in the Met who chairs the orchestra committee, sent NPR a statement about Levine's firing: "While this termination of the Met's relationship with Levine obviously brings a certain degree of closure, it is our hope that the Met's early introduction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin [its newest music director] portends a willingness to invest more robustly both in talent and creating a healthy workplace culture".

He said he was reaching out to police in Lake Forest because some of his encounters with Levine took place there in the mid-1980s. Pai grew up near the festival, where Levine was music director, and wanted to become a conductor. Met officials said they were launching an investigation.

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