And you thought Black Swan was horrifying.
The prestigious New York City Ballet has been sued by a 19-year-old former student, who says the ballet company tolerated a “fraternity-like” atmosphere around the male dancers — one of whom she says shared nude photos and sexually explicit videos of her.
Alexandra Waterbury dated former principal dancer Chase Finlay for a year, before she says she made a shocking discovery on this laptop: He had been secretly videotaping and taking photos documenting their sex life and then sharing the intimate images with other members of the New York City Ballet without her knowledge. “He was secretly photographing me while we were being intimate, while we were together,” she told Good Morning America in an interview. “And then I found out that they were sent to nine men — if not more.” Waterbury said there were months’ worth of emails and text messages containing photographs sent to other male dancers with the ballet company and even some of the company’s board members.
Finlay and the New York City Ballet are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which states that a group of male dancers felt that “they could degrade, demean, mistreat and abuse, assault, and batter women without consequence.”
One donor allegedly wrote to Finlay suggesting that the men should tie ballerinas up “and abuse them like farm animals,” to which Finlay replied, “or like the sluts they are,” according to The Associated Press.
A ripple effect is already happening: Finlay resigned last month after the company sought to question him, and two male principal dancers who were also allegedly sharing photos have been suspended without pay until next year.
The company itself responded by saying the actions Finlay and the other men are accused of “were off-hours activities that were not known, approved, or facilitated by NYCB.”
But you have to wonder: In one of the most competitive and demanding fields in the world, how many “off-hours” do professional ballerinas really have? When a sport is your life and career, separating the two feels more like a myth. For more on the story and to hear Waterbury discuss the ordeal, watch the video below.
Read the full story at The Associated Press.