Met Opera fires longtime conductor after sexual abuse investigation

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The Metropolitan Opera in New York City on Monday announced on Monday it fired famed conductor James Levine after the conclusions of an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Former Metropolitan Opera music director James Levine was sacked Monday after an investigation into claims of sexual abuse "uncovered credible evidence", according to a statement by the Met.

Four men accused Levine of assault, including Ashok Pai, who told the Daily News that the conductor "basically sexually assaulted me hundreds of times".

In a statement, the Met said the investigation found that Levine, 74, abused "vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers", adding that it would be impossible for him to continue his working relationship.

He retired for health reasons in 2016, but had continued to work with the opera as music director emeritus.

"As understandably troubling as the accusations noted in recent press accounts are, they are unfounded", he said in a statement to the Times.

Mr Levine, who denies the allegations, was suspended in December when they were made public.

The Met said in a press release that a months-long investigation carried out by "outside counsel" that included interviews with 70 people led to its decision to dismiss Levine. Levine guided the Met's orchestra for 40 years as music director.

"The investigation also found that any claims or rumors that members of the Met's management or its Board of Directors engaged in a cover-up of information relating to these issues are completely unsubstantiated", the Met said in a statement.

Met officials at the time acknowledged they had been aware of the alleged victim's police report since it was filed previous year in IL, but they also said Levine denied any wrongdoing at the time and authorities did not contact them further.