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Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations


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In  my opinion the sexual harassment is so much harder to document and prove, especially given the consensual nature of his relationships,  but what appears to be Martin's problem is a pattern of physical abuse and DUIS, and yes, I do believe that's an issue. 

I believe that one of the best things that can come out of this movement nationally, is progression beyond #metoo to learning understanding and learning what sexual harassment and a hostile work environment is and showing men and women what they can do. 

I like the timesupnow.com.

This link describes definitions. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a446e1d692ebea0061c7cd9/t/5a4a48b353450a63fe781956/1514817716782/TimesUpNow-KnowYourRights.pdf

 

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There was no social media at the time, either, and both were in their 20's when news articles came out publicizing their earlier relationships. 

In addition, in the LA Times article, John Clifford, who trained Kistler until she went to SAB, said that Kistler's father abused Kistler and her mother, which means her welfare was neither parent's primary concern. And even in families where it might have been and they agreed that these relationships were bad for their children, what were the options, anyway: go to the police? Go to court? These were teenagers earning a !iving far from home, where they wanted to be and not dependent financially on their families.  Balanchine, who was decades older than Tallchief, Leclercq, and Farrell, just to name the prominent ones, was hardly going to object, and who within the organization was going to object to what Balanchine approved?

Kistler came to Balanchine when he was ailing and dying.  She was the last light, and he acknowledged that he pushed her so hard because he didn't have time.  If she had to mature faster by dating Martins, it gives a whole new meaning to fast tracking.

Watts may have felt mature enough to be in a relationship with Martins the man, but not Martins the father.  She said that all of a sudden, this kid landed for the summer - that's when Martins had custody of Nilas - and she was expected to take care of him, like finding yogurt for his breakfast, and what did she know about parenting? 

Edited by Helene
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Two very telling paragraphs in this article, most of which we have already mentioned or surmised.  http://articles.latimes.com/1992-12-06/magazine/tm-3085_1_city-ballet

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Kistler is steadfastly standing by Martins. At 28, she is one of the company's two top ballerinas (the other is Kyra Nichols) and as crucial to its success as Martins himself. She was Balanchine's last discovery. Kistler had triumphed over a difficult childhood in Riverside, during which her father, she says, angrily disparaged her pursuit of ballet and often struck her mother and her.

Now, seeming to fit a pattern experts say is common among women who have lived through such incidents, she speaks almost as though Martins was the victim. 'I feel so upset for Peter and for us that anything like this happened,' she says a few days after her husband's lunchtime interview. 'It's awful that everybody found out about this. I'm behind Peter in everything he's doing."

 

Edited by dirac
Edited to reflect board rules about the length of quotations from published articles.
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12 minutes ago, Helene said:

There was no social media at the time, either, and both were in their 20's when news articles came out publicizing their earlier relationships. 

In addition, in the LA Times article, John Clifford, who trained Kistler until she went to SAB, said that Kistler's father abused Kistler and her mother, which means her welfare was neither parent's primary concern. And even in families where it might have been and they agreed that these relationships were bad for their children, what were the options, anyway: go to the police? Go to court? These were teenagers earning a !iving far from home, where they wanted to be and not dependent financially on their families.  Balanchine, who was decades older than Tallchief, Leclercq, and Farrell, just to name the prominent ones, was hardly going to object, and who within the organization was going to object to what Balanchine approved?

Kistler came to Balanchine when he was ailing and dying.  She was the last light, and he acknowledged that he pushed her so hard because he didn't have time.  If she had to mature faster by dating Martins, it gives a whole new meaning to fast tracking.

Watts may have felt mature enough to be in a relationship with Martins the man, but not Martins the father.  She said that all of a sudden, this kid landed for the summer - that's when Martins had custody of Nilas - and she was expected to take care of him, like finding yogurt for his breakfast, and what did she know about parenting? 

That's right,  no social media at all,  and yet I knew about the relationships real time,  and probably you did,  too.  (May I add a lack of formal supervision doesn't excuse lack of parental involvement.  When I moved to NYC to study dance,  at an older age than Watts and Kistler,  my parents didn't just wash their hands of me because they were busy elsewhere.  I actually met Mrs. Kistler in the State Theater in those days,  and she seemed just as aware of and interested in her daughter's life as any other loving parent.)

Of course the parents could have gone to the police,  if they wanted to,  they could have gone to court or pulled their kids out of New York,  if they wanted to.  Misty Copeland's mother snatched her daughter back home when her ballet teacher actually hired a lawyer and encouraged Misty to seek legal emancipation,  and her mother was flat broke with five other children.

This discussion is an interesting distraction,  but it has nothing to do with the issue at hand.  If someone's got proof,  actual  recent proof,  of serious misconduct on Martins' part,  they need to come forward and present it.

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Very interesting post just above by its the mom. I won't quote it because it's so long, but this verifies what I was talking about in my first post on the this whole Peter Martins situation. I mentioned that I once had a long discussion with a dance colleague (a highly regarded teacher in NYC) about the dance world as a kind of dysfunctional family. It certainly sounds as if both Darci and Peter came from families that could be described as dysfunctional, and what often happens is that children, both male and female, in such families unwittingly recreate aspects of that dysfunction in their own adult environments, choices and partners.

Also, both parties were following a pattern already in place at NYCB, that of the "revered director" (first Balanchine) choosing a much younger dancer as a romantic interest and later partner/wife. This does not excuse illegal behavior, of course, but it does shed light on how such things might have been perceived at the time. I recall reading that Suzanne Farrell's mother REALLY wanted her to marry Balanchine, but Suzanne didn't want to....so we can hardly know for sure what it is that all mothers might want, or not, for their daughters. 

As for Darci, dear reader, she married him! And has stayed with him. 

And this is my final comment also!

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18 minutes ago, Stage Right said:

As for Darci, dear reader, she married him! And has stayed with him. 

 

And he beat her and apparently humiliated her by cheating on her with other members of the company (*as per statements in the articles re: the charges against him).

Lots of people stay in abusive relationships, especially perhaps if, as is the case here, they grew up with an abusive relationship as an example.

It doesn't negate the fact that they are abusive. 

Here he was not only her spouse, he was her boss. It would be unusually difficult to leave even had she wanted to.

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25 minutes ago, Stage Right said:

Very interesting post just above by its the mom. I won't quote it because it's so long, but this verifies what I was talking about in my first post on the this whole Peter Martins situation. I mentioned that I once had a long discussion with a dance colleague (a highly regarded teacher in NYC) about the dance world as a kind of dysfunctional family. It certainly sounds as if both Darci and Peter came from families that could be described as dysfunctional, and what often happens is that children, both male and female, in such families unwittingly recreate aspects of that dysfunction in their own adult environments, choices and partners.

Also, both parties were following a pattern already in place at NYCB, that of the "revered director" (first Balanchine) choosing a much younger dancer as a romantic interest and later partner/wife. This does not excuse illegal behavior, of course, but it does shed light on how such things might have been perceived at the time. I recall reading that Suzanne Farrell's mother REALLY wanted her to marry Balanchine, but Suzanne didn't want to....so we can hardly know for sure what it is that all mothers might want, or not, for their daughters. 

As for Darci, dear reader, she married him! And has stayed with him. 

And this is my final comment also!

Just for the record, I in no way shared the article above to excuse Martins' behavior.  I just believe it sheds light on the situation.  Yes, dysfunction is the name of the game here in this instance and across the ballet world.  In fact, I believe that both the Martins' and the Gomes' accusations bring much needed focus on the ballet culture's ills.

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46 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

If someone's got proof,  actual  recent proof,  of serious misconduct on Martins' part,  they need to come forward and present it.

I'm pretty confident there will be more voices coming forward. Whether SAB and/or NYCB shares them as part of their investigative findings, or civil suits are filed against Martins or the orgs, or first-hand experiences continue to surface, I'm sure they'll be more fodder for discussion.

I don't know if any of you have had the "pleasure" of speaking out about toxic work or school environments but I've done so twice. Once as the person willing to go on record unlike the numerous others who'd made official but not formal complaints; once as just one of a large group spanning roles/departments.

Neither involved physical/sexual abuse. 20 years apart, completely different types of situations and settings (university program vs work environment). 

I can't emphasize enough how both perpetrators were mid-level, nothing-special, and easily replaceable -- and yet there was fallout from coming forward and tension as the respective investigations dragged on.

So I can't imagine the hell of trying to speak out about any of these all-powerful leaders such as Martins (Weinstein, Lauer, Rose etc). And really the other names I just listed don't have the artistic laurel wreaths Martins has.

*If* there is even more to come out than what's emerged already (which for me is plenty) --  imagine the pressure to not "destroy" the school, the company, the legacy, etc etc by speaking out.

Edited by DoubleShanks
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56 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

That's right,  no social media at all,  and yet I knew about the relationships real time,  and probably you did,  too.

Not at all.  I knew what I read in the physical NYT in these pre-online days, and by eavesdropping on the very loud gossips in the Fourth Ring at the NYST, and I had never heard about any of this, although I got earfuls about a lot of other things, to which I brought a box of kosher salt.  People in an industry know a lot more than the public at large; I'm sure I know a lot more about the head of a tech company I used to work for than the average bear, but that's because I was on the inside.

There are plenty of lovely, involved parents who haven't a clue what their children are doing.  Teenagers especially are great at hiding things from their parents, even when they are co-located.  A photo of their daughter being escorted to a gala by a Principal Dancer and ballet partner wouldn't necessarily set of a lot of red flags.  Or they might have looked at their kid and thought, maybe he'll be good for them. That's what Prince Rainier thought when Princess Caroline dated and married Philippe Junot:  they thought the older, established man would encourage her to settle down.  Not that it worked out the way they had hoped, having bet on the wrong horse.

My only personal observation of the young Kistler and Martins was during a Lincoln Center tour, where he was coaching her in something on the NYST stage.  It didn't make me wish I was a ballerina.

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41 minutes ago, aurora said:

And he beat her and apparently humiliated her by cheating on her with other members of the company (*as per statements in the articles re: the charges against him).

Lots of people stay in abusive relationships, especially perhaps if, as is the case here, they grew up with an abusive relationship as an example.

It doesn't negate the fact that they are abusive. 

Here he was not only her spouse, he was her boss. It would be unusually difficult to leave even had she wanted to.

Apparently you completely misread what I said. I did NOT say that her marrying him excused any of the abusive behavior! Or that it wasn't there. What I did imply is that it was her choice. We cannot, and should not, legislate people's choices once above the age of consent. It would have perhaps been difficult, but certainly not impossible for Darci to leave. She had a very high-profile place in a very high-profile company, many contacts, and could surely have made a good career/life for herself IF she really wanted to. Most likely she stayed for a complex set of reasons that we cannot know, but that likely include those abusive childhoods. I hope that Darci and Peter both seek out the help they need, and I'm not talking legal help.

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4 minutes ago, Stage Right said:

Apparently you completely misread what I said. I did NOT say that her marrying him excused any of the abusive behavior! Or that it wasn't there. What I did imply is that it was her choice. We cannot, and should not, legislate people's choices once above the age of consent. It would have perhaps been difficult, but certainly not impossible for Darci to leave. She had a very high-profile place in a very high-profile company, many contacts, and could surely have made a good career/life for herself IF she really wanted to. Most likely she stayed for a complex set of reasons that we cannot know, but that likely include those abusive childhoods. I hope that Darci and Peter both seek out the help they need, and I'm not talking legal help.

Your wording implied it. If I misunderstood you (I did not misread), my sincere apologies.

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1 hour ago, its the mom said:

Just for the record, I in no way shared the article above to excuse Martins' behavior.  I just believe it sheds light on the situation.  

It hardly excuses it, no, but it gives some grounds for empathy at a time when he's down and easy to kick (and I say that as someone who's never been a supporter). Thanks for posting it. 

ETA: Not that I'm knocking anyone for criticizing him.

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9 minutes ago, FITTB85 said:

Has this article been mentioned yet?  I think the general feeling that Darci’s mother may have enabled or allowed an age-inappropriate relationship stems from this article.  “Darci’s mother has been relaxed... ‘I knew we had nothing to worry about.’” 

http://people.com/archive/at-17-a-california-tomboy-becomes-balanchines-newest-baby-ballerina-vol-16-no-21/

I read it as the opposite: in a group of dancers, her mother saw her acting like a kid (eating an ice cream sundae) and Martins acting like an adult (drinking a glass of wine), and her comment could just as easily have meant, "Oh, the kids are being watched over by a responsible adult.  I don't have to worry about her."

Also in the article, she denied that they were dating.

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I agree with Vipa's [possibly last] comment that the dating thing is not evidence of predatory behavior. I've followed this topic from the beginning without commenting, as so many people have said what I would have written. I think the issue IS complicated, all of it, and unless the public is apprised of the investigation's results (highly unlikely), we won't ever know the  truth.  I disliked very much the NPR interview yesterday with Robin Pogrebin who wrote the article in the NYT about how the board of NYCB essentially knew of PM's behavior but did nothing.  She presented the allegations as if they were proven fact and I don't think she ever even called  them allegations.  

 

 

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18 hours ago, kfw said:
On 1/3/2018 at 8:26 AM, abatt said:

Martin's dating of Kistler when she was 16 isn't the issue.  It's an irrelevant side show. So are the DUI's.  The only issue is whether he committed sexual abuse or physical abuse,as defined under the law, against dancers or students during the course of his employment since he was elevated to director in 1983.

I agree. I don’t think the DUIs should have anything to do with it. While it’s true that most people go through life without even one alcohol-related run in with the law, much less three, it’s also true that his have taken place nineteen years and six years apart from each other, and that this last occurred at a time of undoubtedly great stress. To me, that doesn’t signal that he has a problem that’s out of control. Even if it did, if alcoholism is a disease, he shouldn’t be fired for manifesting that disease off the job.
 
The abuse is another issue obviously, but I feel for the younger dancers who see him as a father figure and haven't seen him act badly (possibly because he'd reformed).

Thirded. Although as mentioned earlier, this most recent DUI probably ended any chance Martins had of returning to the company, relevant or not.

(Also, comparisons of Martins to Roy Moore are absurd. The most damaging charge against Moore was that of Leigh Corfman, who was 14 years old at the time she claims that Moore approached her, initially with her mother, and then later alone, and then took her to an isolated place near his home to grope her.)

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30 minutes ago, Marta said:

I disliked very much the NPR interview yesterday with Robin Pogrebin who wrote the article in the NYT about how the board of NYCB essentially knew of PM's behavior but did nothing.  She presented the allegations as if they were proven fact and I don't think she ever even called  them allegations.  

 

The Bill Cosby situation is somewhat parallel,  although he is vastly better-known,  and more disliked,  than Martins.  The media went into overdrive,  presenting forty plus supposed victims of Cosby,  on the cover of New York Magazine,  and on a special report on CNN.  But many of the women had stories that don't stand up under even minimal scrutiny.  Some of them were more accurately described as "kept women",  and others were simply lying,  claiming Cosby assaulted them on dates when he could prove he was out of the country.  At least one had been a longtime mental patient with a history dramatic fabrications.  The one woman who managed to bring Cosby into court couldn't persuade a jury that he was guilty,  largely because she continued to phone him and ask for tickets to his performances,  and the case ended in a mistrial.

In the Cosby case,  all of the accusers put themselves out there by name and provided dates  (even when their "facts" were demonstrably false).  In Martins case,  except for Wilhelmina Frankfurt,  who is exasperatingly  vague,  no other female has claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Martins.  Kelly Cass Boal's story of being physically brutalized must be considered,  but her reaction to being deposed is an indication that a competent defense attorney could shred her on the stand.  At any rate,  the statute of limitations has long run out on the alleged assault.

None of this means that Martins is innocent.  He could be guilty as hell,  on all counts.  But responsible journalists don't treat accusations as established fact.  If Martins were ever formally charged,  the reporting of Pogrebin and others could be considered prejudicial and cause problems for any criminal prosecution and/or civil case.  Unfortunately this situation has turned into yet another opportunity to attack ballet in general,  which may have been the aim.

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5 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

The Bill Cosby situation is somewhat parallel,  although he is vastly better-known,  and more disliked,  than Martins.  The media went into overdrive,  presenting forty plus supposed victims of Cosby,  on the cover of New York Magazine,  and on a special report on CNN.  But many of the women had stories that don't stand up under even minimal scrutiny.  Some of them were more accurately described as "kept women",  and others were simply lying,  claiming Cosby assaulted them on dates when he could prove he was out of the country.  At least one had been a longtime mental patient with a history dramatic fabrications.  The one woman who managed to bring Cosby into court couldn't persuade a jury that he was guilty,  largely because she continued to phone him and ask for tickets to his performances,  and the case ended in a mistrial.

In the Cosby case,  all of the accusers put themselves out there by name and provided dates  (even when their "facts" were demonstrably false).  In Martins case,  except for Wilhelmina Frankfurt,  who is exasperatingly  vague,  no other female has claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Martins.  Kelly Cass Boal's story of being physically brutalized must be considered,  but her reaction to being deposed is an indication that a competent defense attorney could shred her on the stand.  At any rate,  the statute of limitations has long run out on the alleged assault.

None of this means that Martins is innocent.  He could be guilty as hell,  on all counts.  But responsible journalists don't treat accusations as established fact.  If Martins were ever formally charged,  the reporting of Pogrebin and others could be considered prejudicial and cause problems for any criminal prosecution and/or civil case.  Unfortunately this situation has turned into yet another opportunity to attack ballet in general,  which may have been the aim.

This is a highly bizarre account of the accusers and trial of Cosby.

You omit for example he is being retried shortly.

I'm not sure this comparison does Martins any favors...

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10 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

The Bill Cosby situation is somewhat parallel,  although he is vastly better-known,  and more disliked,  than Martins.  The media went into overdrive,  presenting forty plus supposed victims of Cosby,  on the cover of New York Magazine,  and on a special report on CNN.  But many of the women had stories that don't stand up under even minimal scrutiny.  Some of them were more accurately described as "kept women",  and others were simply lying,  claiming Cosby assaulted them on dates when he could prove he was out of the country.  At least one had been a longtime mental patient with a history dramatic fabrications. 

I hate to have to point this out to you but "kept women" can be drugged and raped as well.

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15 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

Kelly Cass Boal's story of being physically brutalized must be considered,  but her reaction to being deposed is an indication that a competent defense attorney could shred her on the stand.

An indication, perhaps, but if there was a court case, civil or criminal, she would know what to expect and be prepared. 

If Cosby is more disliked than Martins, he was also more loved and defended than Martins, whom most people wouldn't recognize if he held out his hand and introduced himself.

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28 minutes ago, canbelto said:

I hate to have to point this out to you but "kept women" can be drugged and raped as 

33 minutes ago, aurora said:

This is a highly bizarre account of the accusers and trial of Cosby.

You omit for example he is being retried shortly.

I'm not sure this comparison does Martins any favors...

You're going to have to be more specific as to what you find bizarre in my account.  I don't see why mentioning a retrial is relevant.  The fact is that the only trial that has taken place ended with a hung jury and a mistrial.  It's not my aim to do Martins any favors,  but to point out that alleged crimes that took place long ago are difficult to prosecute.  If there is any current evidence of Martins' wrongdoing it needs to be brought forth now.

I'm also aware that kept women can be raped and drugged too.  That doesn't change the fact that some of the claims against Cosby are demonstrably fake.  Some of the charges against Martins seem to be motivated more by personal dislike than anything actionable.

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Victims don't always act logically or "perfectly" especially when the perpetrator is a powerful, much admired man in the industry. The remarkable consistency of the stories against Cosby, the fact that there were complaints filed over many years by different women, and Cosby's radio silence on the matter make the stories very believable. If they were kept women, still tried to get work via Cosby, or did not come forward immediately, doesn't falsify their claims.

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