SAN FRANCISCO (CelebrityAccess) Conductor Charles Dutoit left his positions as principal conductor and artistic director at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London Jan. 11 after fresh allegations of sexual assault in the U.S., France and Canada including one allegation of rape.
Six women have stepped forward to speak out against the maestro after an initial report by the Associated Press Dec. 21, with Dutoit denying the allegations. The women told the AP the conductor’s denial of the allegations angered them and compelled them to speak out. Three singers and a musician claimed Dutoit forcibly restrained them, groped them and kissed them; eight major orchestras subsequently distanced themselves from the conductor.
The new accusers say Duotoit attacked them over a four-decade period, starting in the 1970s.
French soprano Anne-Sophie Schmidt told the AP Dutoit pushed her against a wall, groped her and forcibly kissed her in 1995 in Paris. Canadian soprano Pauline Vaillancourt told the AP Dutoit, after taking her to dinner, stopped a car he was driving to gro9per her breasts and other body parts. Canadian musician Mary Lou Basaraba said when she was in her early 20, when Dutooit interviewed her for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, put his hands on her breasts and crotch and tried to kiss her as she sat on his sofa. Pianist Jenny Chai said she was attacked when attending a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra in the early 2000s,
The AP reports that it checked all the accusers’ accounts with friends or colleagues.
The alleged rape victim spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, and the AP not only did not publish her name but neither the city where she was allegedly attacked nor the instrument she played.
The musician spoke at length about the alleged attack inside his hotel room, claiming “he was inside me before I could blink.”
The AP said it spoke with three male musicians who said she confided in them.