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Finlay Resigns, Catazaro and Ramasar Suspended -- Update: Catazaro and Ramasar Fired

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Finlay (or his lawyer) released a statement? I haven't heard about that. Any links?

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"A lawyer for Chase Finlay, Ira Kleiman, told the New York Post the “complaint is nothing more than a mass of allegations that ought not to be treated as facts.” The lawyer said Finlay had no comment."

https://heavy.com/news/2018/09/chase-finlay/

https://nypost.com/2018/09/05/ex-nyc-ballet-dancer-joked-about-abusing-ballerinas-like-farm-animals-suit/

Edited by KayDenmark
Adding link to New York Post article

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I think the media's choice of wording ("ballerina," "dancer") helps to further paint her as the perfect victim -- beautiful, white, Ivy League student, and only "19" as opposed to her real age, which we know from her Instagram is 20. Though I believe her claims and take them seriously, we're only getting her side of the story regarding the culture of NYCB, which we can assume that she's experienced mostly via her relationship with Finlay. I don't care what happens to him and the other culpable individuals, but, as others have said, I don't think it's fair to the other dancers in the company -- the women, gay men, and decent-human-being straight men -- for fans to stop attending performances and donating. I have multiple tickets for the 18-19 season and look forward to using every one of them. 

Anyway, I hope that NYCB can take the necessary steps to fix whatever institutional problems lie within, and to ultimately restore the public's favor. 

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4 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

"A lawyer for Chase Finlay, Ira Kleiman, told the New York Post the “complaint is nothing more than a mass of allegations that ought not to be treated as facts.” The lawyer said Finlay had no comment."

That strikes me as a pretty tepid statement. It’s not even a claim, really, just a definition. I wonder why they didn’t go with something a bit more forceful.

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2 minutes ago, JuliaJ said:

I think the media's choice of wording ("ballerina," "dancer") helps to further paint her as the perfect victim -- beautiful, white, Ivy League student, and only "19" as opposed to her real age, which we know from her Instagram is 20.

What? This is really splitting hairs. "Dancer" is her profession. As someone who has been "19" as well as 20, I can't think of a discernible difference between the two.

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My concern is that the innocent dancers of NYCB will be hurt by the backlash.  The allegations are horrendous and if AW was primarily concerned with justice, she should have contacted the police immediately.  According to the articles, she still has not involved the authorities.  The fact that her attorney has admittedly approached the accused parties for money in exchange for silence is disturbing.  Why haven't all "9 men" been named?  Have some of them already paid? 

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31 minutes ago, nanushka said:

That strikes me as a pretty tepid statement. It’s not even a claim, really, just a definition. I wonder why they didn’t go with something a bit more forceful.

This lawyer may have been a family friend or associate called in at the last minute when the Post story was about to break. I don't know if there is more than one lawyer named Ira Kleiman in NYC, but the first one I found has this listed as his expertise: "He has extensive experience in residential and commercial real estate transactions and has represented real estate developers, condominium associates and boards of co-operative corporations." http://www.briefjustice.com/

Finlay needs someone with expertise in this type of situation to deal with the allegations - although to be quite frank, I don't know how much he is really the target of the suit. He's not the one with deep pockets. 

Edited by KayDenmark
Adding link to Ira Kleiman bio

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2 hours ago, KayDenmark said:

There have been other posters who have written "Well, I work in an (law, academic, etc.) office and we do it this way." 

My point is that the workplaces are not directly comparable, in part because of the physical nature of the dancers' work. But also because of the long tradition of interpersonal relationships at the company. 

I work in the tech industry, where there is a long tradition of interpersonal relationships at companies for the very same reasons: lots of young people working long hours and a similar power differential between the star performers, often older, and the newcomers. 

And dancers are hardly in the only profession with substantial physical involvement over long hours.

Plus, NYCB is an organization that is subject to the sane laws as everyone else, and since donations are tax-deductible for the most part, which lowers tax revenue, there is a different kind of public interest and scrutiny, like for other 501-3-c organizations. It has a relatively large budget, a hierarchical and deep org chart, and doesn't get a bye, or at least understanding, because it's a lean, scrappy, non-professional start up.In addition, there were allegations that there were employees a a donor involved in the photo-video exchange circle.  They have no physical involvement with the dancers. 

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50 minutes ago, JuliaJ said:

I think the media's choice of wording ("ballerina," "dancer") helps to further paint her as the perfect victim -- beautiful, white, Ivy League student, and only "19" as opposed to her real age, which we know from her Instagram is 20. Though I believe her claims and take them seriously, we're only getting her side of the story regarding the culture of NYCB, which we can assume that she's experienced mostly via her relationship with Finlay. I don't care what happens to him and the other culpable individuals, but, as others have said, I don't think it's fair to the other dancers in the company -- the women, gay men, and decent-human-being straight men -- for fans to stop attending performances and donating. I have multiple tickets for the 18-19 season and look forward to using every one of them. 

Anyway, I hope that NYCB can take the necessary steps to fix whatever institutional problems lie within, and to ultimately restore the public's favor. 

The media's interest in the story is because of the accusations against the ballet company, so classifying her as a ballerina gives a boost to media interest. Otherwise, this would be merely a dispute between ex boyfriend and ex girlfriend that would get little media interest.  

I fully intend to go see NYCB this season.  However, I would not give any donations until there are significant changes. I also think the suspensions should have been longer.

Edited by abatt

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1 hour ago, bcash said:

People might be inclined to assume otherwise because of the conclusion of the Martins investigation. 

Anyway, I'm annoyed that most media outlets other than the NYT use "ballerina" or "dancer" in their headline to describe Waterbury. She's a model and student, a former ballet student, but not a dancer and certainly not a "ballerina". The use of these descriptors plants the impression that this is coming from someone who's an established member of the company, when in reality she's not.

For what it’s worth, she does seem to dance with Michele Wiles’ company, Ballet Next, as recently as this summer. And presumably for pay, which makes her for all intents and purposes, a professional dancer and ballerina. I do agree with you though that the media coverage makes it seem as though she’s a NYCB company member when she is not.

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59 minutes ago, JuliaJ said:

I think the media's choice of wording ("ballerina," "dancer") helps to further paint her as the perfect victim -- beautiful, white, Ivy League student, and only "19" as opposed to her real age, which we know from her Instagram is 20.

I think that they may be referring to her age when this started, which was almost a year ago.

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4 minutes ago, FPF said:

I think that they may be referring to her age when this started, which was almost a year ago.

In some cases perhaps, but in others definitely not. For instance, the photo caption on the NYT article reads, "Alexandra Waterbury, 19, filed a suit on Tuesday..."; the article begins, "A 19-year-old woman charged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that..."

Edited by nanushka

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2 minutes ago, nanushka said:

In some cases perhaps, but in others definitely not. For instance, the photo caption on the NYT article reads, "Alexandra Waterbury, 19, filed a suit on Tuesday..."; the article begins, "A 19-year-old woman charged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that..."

That is definitely sloppy reporting.

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20 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

What's probably in everyone's minds is who knew what, how much and since when. 

I think of Megan LeCrone's IG post earlier about pulling together as a community etc. De Luz's post about how it's always the artists, audience and the art that suffer the consequences. These relatively vague posts appeared right after the news about resignation and suspension. I wonder how much they knew then, because it would have painted different pictures of the dancers' judgement and grievances and exposure to information, depending on the answer.

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1 hour ago, lqsb said:

My concern is that the innocent dancers of NYCB will be hurt by the backlash.  The allegations are horrendous and if AW was primarily concerned with justice, she should have contacted the police immediately.  According to the articles, she still has not involved the authorities.  The fact that her attorney has admittedly approached the accused parties for money in exchange for silence is disturbing.  Why haven't all "9 men" been named?  Have some of them already paid? 

I don't think we should read anything into the fact that her lawyer went to NYCB first.  This is standard procedure with lawsuits - not only is it considered courteous to offer a settlement opportunity first, but I believe judges have an expectation that parties would have attempted to work through their issues prior to involving the courts.  Also, I have to think NYCB and any other parties approached would vastly prefer this to being blind sighted by a lawsuit.  

I think it speaks volumes about NYCB and their respect for women that they chose to paint Alexandra as someone looking for a "payout."  The nature of her requests in the document for injunctive relief and other consideration seem reasonable considering there has been damage done to her career and mental health.  

I find it astonishing that NYCB did not handle Alexandra's complaint better in order to avoid a lawsuit.  Strikes me as incompetence managing liabilities or overconfidence that she would not follow through or the public would not care.   

Also, regarding not involving the authorities, i.e. pursuing a criminal case, I'm not sure that would accomplish her goal or do as much good.  Finlay potentially lands in jail, and not clear if NYCB comes away with any incentive to change institutional practices they way it does with her current approach.  

Edited by gigi

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2 minutes ago, bcash said:

 I wonder how much they knew then, because it would have painted different pictures of the dancers' judgement and grievances and exposure to information, depending on the answer.

Exactly. And remember...ever since Gelsey wrote her guts off many of her ballet world contemporaries sort of looked the other way with disgust at her for having done so. Fraternity type. I don't see why hushing ought to be different now than then.

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17 minutes ago, nanushka said:

In some cases perhaps, but in others definitely not. For instance, the photo caption on the NYT article reads, "Alexandra Waterbury, 19, filed a suit on Tuesday..."; the article begins, "A 19-year-old woman charged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that..."

She is actually described as "a nineteen year-old ballet dancer and former student at defendant NEW YORK CITY BALLET, INC." on page 5 of the complaint

It seems to me that the the confusion on the issue of her age and NYCB dancer status comes from her lawyer.

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Well,

37 minutes ago, FPF said:

She is actually described as "a nineteen year-old ballet dancer and former student at defendant NEW YORK CITY BALLET, INC." on page 5 of the complaint

 It seems to me that the the confusion on the issue of her age and NYCB dancer status comes from her lawyer.

She was an SAB student, which is part of NYCB, Inc. But yes, she probably turned 20 after that part of the complaint was drafted and her attorney should have updated it accordingly. 

Edited by Emma

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There was also some discussion earlier in the thread about sloppiness and other small errors in the complaint. 

I looked up Miss Waterbury's attorney, Jordan Merson, to see if this type of sloppiness had been seen before in his work and I stumbled over this paragraph:

"Merson primarily handles cases that have resulted in recoveries of $1 million or more and has routinely litigated those that have produced verdicts and settlements greater than $10 million. Many of his cases have gained local and national media attention and he has been quoted often in newspapers and on television."

https://www.klinespecter.com/jordan-merson.html

Finlay's lawyer is certainly outmatched. 

Edited by KayDenmark
Fix misspelling

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Whistleblowers are often treated with contempt by people who have the most to lose.  

3 hours ago, eduardo said:

Hello everyone from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

As you can imagine, we don't usually see any news about NYCB in local newspapers. For instance, I don't recall having read anything when Argentina born A.S.Scheller became a principal dancer in the company. But this issue is in the main newspapers here. The info seems to be quite unaccurate, though (compared to what I've been reading here). Did you say anything about bad publicity?

Spanish only, of course:

https://www.lanacion.com.ar/2169587-escandalo-ballet-nueva-york-exbailarina-demanda-institucion

https://www.clarin.com/sociedad/escandalo-ballet-nueva-york-bailarina-denuncio-ex-autoridades-pornovenganza_0_B1P2l1kd7.html

 

From the Google Translate versions, the two main errors I see that wouldn't have been picked up from US media are that Waterbury wasn't a member of the company -- she had been a student at SAB -- and there's been no mention I've seen about social media, only texts and emails. The one picked up from US media us her current age, which has been misrepresented as 19. 

I thought they meant the Daily News, not the Daily Mail, but, no, like moths to a flame where there is a sex scandal:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6136217/New-York-City-Ballet-male-dancers-swapped-naked-photos-ballerinas-new-lawsuit-claims.html

There may have been an implication that there was a kind of comprehensive investigation of the company, but from NYCB's response, it appears the investigation was limited to the communications that Waterbury's lawyer sent to them in June, which is a subset of what is in the complaint, filed in September, where there are allegations beyond communications, and even there, there's the possibility of having gotten more since June.  But that could be the translation and not the original.

 

2 hours ago, Balletwannabe said:

I watched the Good Morning America interview.  She claimed images were shared with "9 men"?? UHG.  However she didn't specifically say 9 "dancers".

In the complaint, there were at least one employee and a donor involved.  It isn't clear if there were different employees.

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19 minutes ago, FPF said:

She is actually described as "a nineteen year-old ballet dancer and former student at defendant NEW YORK CITY BALLET, INC." on page 5 of the complaint

It seems to me that the the confusion on the issue of her age and NYCB dancer status comes from her lawyer.

As noted above, she's danced with Ballet Next, so she is a (freelance) ballet dancer.  Where did her lawyer say she was a NYCB dancer?

 

12 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

There was also some discussion earlier in the thread about sloppiness and other small errors in the complaint. 

 

12 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

Finlay's lawyer is certainly outmatched. 

 

Clearly his sloppiness hasn't been fatal.

 

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2 hours ago, bcash said:

People might be inclined to assume otherwise because of the conclusion of the Martins investigation. 

Anyway, I'm annoyed that most media outlets other than the NYT use "ballerina" or "dancer" in their headline to describe Waterbury. She's a model and student, a former ballet student, but not a dancer and certainly not a "ballerina". The use of these descriptors plants the impression that this is coming from someone who's an established member of the company, when in reality she's not.

SO WHAT!! if she wasn't a member of the Company-----she was a STUDENT which makes the accusations far worse....

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1 minute ago, Helene said:

As noted above, she's danced with Ballet Next, so she is a ballet dancer.  Where did her lawyer say she was a NYCB dancer?

I thought that it looked as though the statement related NYCB to both roles and that the sentence could have perhaps been worded more clearly by her lawyer.

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