A “Metoo” scandal has hit the New York City Ballet and as a result, a lawsuit was filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Tuesday. Alexandra Waterbury, who studied at the academy connected to the ballet company, School of American Ballet, dated the principal male dancer, Chase Finlay, only to find out that he shared nude photos and videos of her taken without her consent.
The New York Times says the ballet company attempted to do their own investigation, but Finlay resigned rather than answer their questions. In the interim, two other principal male dancers, Amar Ramasar and Zachary Catazaro, were suspended without pay until next year for violating norms of conduct.
Alexandra Waterbury’s lawsuit details how the three men were involved.
“Ms. Waterbury accuses Mr. Finlay of sending nude photos of herself to Mr. Ramasar, who, the court papers say, sent back an image of a bare-chested ‘female ballet member.’ The suit accuses Mr. Catazaro of having exchanged unspecified images with Mr. Finlay.”
Waterbury blames the New York City Ballet company for creating a frat-boy-like environment that “permeates the Ballet and its dancers and emboldens them to disregard the law and violate the basic rights of women.”
Dancer sues New York City Ballet over nude photos https://t.co/Kw3bEWr7Bi— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 6, 2018
Waterbury’s lawyer says that as an example, the company was aware that Finlay trashed a Washington hotel room, causing extensive damage, and there was no penalty.
Charles W. Scharf, the chairman of the board at City Ballet, said that the company never condoned bad behavior and therefore have no liability in this matter, adding that they have “taken the appropriate disciplinary actions for the dancers involved.”
But Waterbury says that she was not the only woman victimized and that there were other nude photos shared on the text chain that included other dancers and NYC Ballet Company donors. She claims the texts “accompanied by lewd and misogynistic language.”
According to the lawsuit, in the text link, a donor said they wanted to “violate” other dancers.
“I bet we could tie some of them up and abuse them like farm animals.”
Finlay replied, “like the sl*ts they are.”
Alexandra Waterbury said she discovered the texts when she was still dating Chase Finlay and he gave her the password to check her email on his laptop and “all of the text messages just popped up.”
Waterbury spoke about the matter at a press conference.
“My initial feelings of shock and denial have turned into anger and embarrassment.”
She added that she has received threats after the two dancers were suspended, and she truly doesn’t believe young girls are safe in the company.
“Every time I see a little girl in a tutu or with her hair in a bun on her way to ballet class, all I can think is that she should run in the other direction because no one will protect her like no one protected me.”