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All Defendants Except Finlay Are Dismissed from Alexandra Waterbury's Lawsuit


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On 10/1/2020 at 4:20 PM, On Pointe said:

At any rate,  there is no sexual assault in the Waterbury case.

That depends on your definition of sexual assault. Finlay is still liable (if that's the word) for taking sexually explicit photos of Waterbury without her consent and disseminating them. That part of the case can move forward. I disagree that her chances of winning are "slim to none' particularly with respect to Finlay's intentions. The decision itself says that the texts accompanying the images show that Finlay knew it would cause her distress if she found out. If he knew it would cause her distress and he did it anyway, it seems to me that that is the definition of "intentionally causing distress."

I happen to agree with the outcome so far. Personally, I'm glad NYCB, SAB and the two dancers had their cases dismissed. I wouldn't publicize it if I were NYCB. Better that people forget entirely.

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1 hour ago, BalanchineFan said:

That depends on your definition of sexual assault. Finlay is still liable (if that's the word) for taking sexually explicit photos of Waterbury without her consent and disseminating them. That part of the case can move forward. I disagree that her chances of winning are "slim to none' particularly with respect to Finlay's intentions. The decision itself says that the texts accompanying the images show that Finlay knew it would cause her distress if she found out. If he knew it would cause her distress and he did it anyway, it seems to me that that is the definition of "intentionally causing distress."

Sexual assault is defined as forcing or coercing someone into sexual activity or touching without their consent.  Waterbury's sexual conduct with Finlay was consensual.  It was the recording of that conduct that was not consensual.  In my opinion she has good and sufficient grounds for going after Finlay on that basis.  But it's not sexual assault.  Some of Waterbury's teen supporters told passersby outside of WSS that Amar Ramasar had sexually assaulted "someone",  which is a vile misrepresentation of the case.  As his attorney said,  they throw around terms as if they have no real meaning,  a very dangerous practice.

I never said that Waterbury's chances of winning against Finlay were "slim to none".  I think they're pretty good.  But she should have gone after him alone,  with or without involving the court system.

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On 10/1/2020 at 6:52 AM, abatt said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/arts/dance/nyc-ballet-alexandra-waterbury.html?searchResultPosition=5

I  have attached the original article from the NY Times when this debacle began.  It mentions that Waterbury's counsel initially went to NYCB to demand a settlement from NYCB before filing the lawsuit in order to help NYCB avoid bad publicity.  NYCB rejected the demand, and the lawsuit was then filed.

This was a classic shakedown attempt.  Money was always the motive. If Waterbury were really interested in exposing a culture of bad behavior at the company, she would not have first gone to the company to offer to keep NYCB out of the lawsuit in exchange for a payday.   Any moderately good lawyer could see that the claims against NYCB and SAB had a snowball's chance in hell of surviving, so the company didn't take the bait.  Without NYCB in the lawsuit, there was little likelihood that  the media would have paid much attention to this lawsuit. It was the fact that she  sued a venerable cultural institution (with baseless allegations that have now been tossed out of court)  that garnered the media attention.  This was a brazen blackmail attempt, pure and simple.

Perhaps Waterbury's lawyer was hoping that the fear of further embarrassment in the wake of Peter Martins' resignation would induce the company to come to the table. Not so much.

I would prefer to think that Waterbury was misled into thinking her case was better than it was.

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Regarding Waterbury's intentions, I don't see how any one of us could know what she intented at any point. Basic negotiating tactics favor starting with a big ask, knowing it will get whittled down in negotiations, and also starting with a promise to keep things private knowing you can go public later. You can't do the reverse. That's all that I see. No brazen blackmail. That's how one negotiates. Additionally, in the civil court system the only thing you can be awarded is money. The defendants can't undo the suffering they've caused. They can only pay money in recompense and acknowlegement. That's our American system of justice.

Don't blame a woman for using it.

Edited by BalanchineFan
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1 hour ago, BalanchineFan said:

 Additionally, in the civil court system the only thing you can be awarded is money. The defendants can't undo the suffering they've caused. They can only pay money in recompense and acknowlegement. That's our American system of justice.

Don't blame a woman for using it.

This is simply not true. A judge can ask the defendants to issue a public apology if they don’t believe any monetary harm was caused. It doesn’t always have to be a financial settlement with a civil case.

Edited by Fairandlove
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Civil court is about monetary damages. Saying Waterbury was "in it for the money" is a way of victim-shaming. If something is brought up in civil court the damages awarded are monetary.

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4 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

Regarding Waterbury's intentions, I don't see how any one of us could know what she intented at any point. Basic negotiating tactics favor starting with a big ask, knowing it will get whittled down in negotiations, and also starting with a promise to keep things private knowing you can go public later. You can't do the reverse. That's all that I see. No brazen blackmail. That's how one negotiates. Additionally, in the civil court system the only thing you can be awarded is money. The defendants can't undo the suffering they've caused. They can only pay money in recompense and acknowlegement. That's our American system of justice.

Don't blame a woman for using it.

In the legal profession, when a preposterous claim is asserted, the lawyer phrase is that the claim does not pass the giggle test.  In other words, sometimes a claim is so lacking in legal or logical support that it cannot seriously be asserted with a straight face.  The claims asserted by Waterbury and her attorney against NYCB and SAB flunked the giggle test.  They were NEVER going to succeed.  Any halfway decent lawyer knew that from the outset.  The claims against NYCB and SAB  were asserted simply for purposes of blackmailing a deep pocketed institution. 

Edited by abatt
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6 minutes ago, abatt said:

In the legal profession, when a preposterous claim is asserted, the lawyer phrase is that the claim does not pass the giggle test.  In other words, sometimes a claim is so lacking in legal or logical support that it cannot seriously be asserted with a straight face.  The claims asserted by Waterbury and her attorney against NYCB and SAB flunked the giggle test.  They were NEVER going to succeed.  Any halfway decent lawyer knew that from the outset.  The claims against NYCB and SAB  were asserted simply for purposes of blackmailing a deep pocketed institution. 

As I recall, there was quite a good deal of commentary on this very forum exploring at some length the arguments for and against Waterbury's decision to bring claims against NYCB. Reasonable points were, I thought, made on both sides — I presume in good faith.

If Waterbury's claims were to flunk the giggle test, I wouldn't have thought such arguments could even be made.

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A lawsuit isn't blackmail. A lawsuit is a lawsuit. 

And as I've said before, it's society's responsibility to support all victims of sexual assault. 

Edited by canbelto
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7 hours ago, canbelto said:

A lawsuit isn't blackmail. A lawsuit is a lawsuit. 

And as I've said before, it's society's responsibility to support all victims of sexual assault. 

Given that the whole society agrees unilaterally on defining sexual assault. Waterbury wasn't sexually assaulted.

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4 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

Given that the whole society agrees unilaterally on defining sexual assault. Waterbury wasn't sexually assaulted.

She was sexually abused. Revenge porn is sexual abuse. 

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28 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

Given that the whole society agrees unilaterally on defining sexual assault. Waterbury wasn't sexually assaulted.

Not according to the US Department of Health & Human Services, which defines sexual assault broadly to include any non-consensual sexual activity and this does not require physical contact or revenge as a motive.

https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/sexual-assault-and-rape/sexual-assault

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She may have been sexually abused by Chase Finlay, but I don't think she was by anyone else - certainly not by the NYCB or the school. The damage to the prestige and dignity of those organizations is permanent. 

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4 minutes ago, Rock said:

She may have been sexually abused by Chase Finlay, but I don't think she was by anyone else - certainly not by the NYCB or the school. The damage to the prestige and dignity of those organizations is permanent. 

Why does society always worry about the damage to the evil, sick MEN? And not the traumatized female victims? NYCB and SAB are institutions with deep pockets and prestige. They'll live. But the damage to victimized women when society blames and shames them is unfathomable.

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They'll live? There was a tremendous amount of negative press about both organizations, who had no part in this. Articles about the wisdom of sending little girls to these ballet schools. It was awful. And that's what people remember - not the part about those lawsuits being thrown out. That didn't get so much press did it? It's not nearly as much fun to write about. Waterbury ruined careers and lives. Intentionally. What about her victims?  

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14 minutes ago, Rock said:

They'll live? There was a tremendous amount of negative press about both organizations, who had no part in this. Articles about the wisdom of sending little girls to these ballet schools. It was awful. And that's what people remember - not the part about those lawsuits being thrown out. That didn't get so much press did it? It's not nearly as much fun to write about. Waterbury ruined careers and lives. Intentionally. What about her victims?  

Her life was ruined when she was sexually abused by her boyfriend. She had a right to fight for justice. Until society starts to accept that it's our JOB to protect victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse nothing will change. She has no victims. The men she included in the lawsuit all have great careers. People are so sympathetic to them even though they acted foolishly and without respect for women. NYCB and SAB are august institutions with lots of money and prestige. They got sued -- big whoop. It's not the first or last lawsuit they'll have. 

Meanwhile all over the world women are shamed, blamed, and in many societies KILLED for daring to speak out about sexual abuse. Sorry if  don't have any sympathy for foolish, coddled men and rich institutions and I reserve my sympathies to all the females that have been abused and silenced.

Edited by canbelto
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It's not true that she has no victims. Nor that all the men in the lawsuit have great careers. Finlay did this to himself, but the other careers are compromised. This has been traumatic for everyone involved. Whether the NYCB or the SAB have money isn't, or shouldn't be, the issue. "August institutions"? They were dragged thru the mud, it was so bad the dancers had to defend themselves from the stage. It's amazing you take those accusations and lawsuits so casually. "Big whoop." Like it's nothing. It's not nothing. It's humiliating and damaging. They would have just cause for suing her back.  

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5 minutes ago, Rock said:

It's not true that she has no victims. Nor that all the men in the lawsuit have great careers. Finlay did this to himself, but the other careers are compromised. This has been traumatic for everyone involved. Whether the NYCB or the SAB have money isn't, or shouldn't be, the issue. "August institutions"? They were dragged thru the mud, it was so bad the dancers had to defend themselves from the stage. It's amazing you take those accusations and lawsuits so casually. "Big whoop." Like it's nothing. It's not nothing. It's humiliating and damaging. They would have just cause for suing her back.  

The other men exercised extreme poor judgment when they participated in the group chat. No one forced them to do that. Nevertheless, Zach Catazaro got reinstated but opted to continue his career in Europe. Amar Ramasar got reinstated and was starring in a major Broadway revival. Jared Longhitano made the news again by calling homeless people "scum." So they got bad press. Too bad, so sad.

Meanwhile NYCB and SAB are doing fine -- or as well as ballet institutions can do in this pandemic. I've donated a bunch of money to both institutions because I want their dancers to continue to thrive. Before the pandemic hit I was at almost all their winter season performances and they were full. I fail to see how they were damaged in any way. They probably had to pay some hefty lawyer fees. Oh well. 

Meanwhile the only person's name who continues to get dragged through the mud is the victim herself -- Alexandra Waterbury. That's just messed up.

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Including the men as parties in the lawsuit had no impact to their careers, however forced them into paying lawyers fees to get adequate representation:  it was their own words, quoted and disclosed in the lawsuit documents that did.: they weren't even included as parties in the original filing.   Waterbury had no obligation to protect them.  They should be looking at Finlay, whose stupidity allowed their conversations to be revealed.

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What do you mean it had no impact to their careers? Catazaro was too traumatized to return to the company. He went to Europe to find work. You call that no impact? Ramasar had to deal with protesters outside WSS picketing. Were there comments from Catazaro posted in the lawsuits? I didn't see that. Waterbury didn't need to "protect" them, she attacked them. She paid nothing; their lawyer fees are staggering. 

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Being sued had no impact on their career: their actions were what had impacts on their careers, since they were the ones that took the risk of disclosure and lost.  She disclosed their behavior, which she had no obligation to hide.  .And, yes, Catazaro's comments were posted in the lawsuit, which is what lead to his suspension.

 

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But Catazaro didn't say anything about Waterbury and didn't receive or share photos of her.  She included him in her filing because she was on a mission to slash and burn.  Chase Finlay was the legitimate target of her anger,  not Catazaro.  Catazaro would be justified in suing Waterbury,  for destroying his career and upending his life.  He did nothing to her.  Meanwhile he was saddled with legal bills that doubtless ran into the thousands.

28 minutes ago, Helene said:

And, yes, Catazaro's comments were posted in the lawsuit, which is what lead to his suspension.

His comments should not have been posted.  Catazaro's comments were about another woman.   Whatever the nature of his comments - and as reported,  they were not scurrilous - he had a reasonable expectation of privacy that Waterbury breached.

 

2 hours ago, canbelto said:

Meanwhile the only person's name who continues to get dragged through the mud is the victim herself -- Alexandra Waterbury. That's just messed up.

How has Waterbury's name been "dragged through the mud"?  I've seen no evidence of that.  Nothing but articles painting her as a hapless victim and lauding her " bravery".  Her modeling career hasn't suffered,  and  she even participated in a university seminar where she was described as a "reknowned ballerina".  Her attempt to involve Alexa Maxwell in her vendetta against ballet was unkind to say the least.  But when Maxwell stated that,  based on Waterbury's pleadings to her,  Waterbury's primary motive was digging into NYCB's deep pockets,  Maxwell was the one who was pilloried.

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41 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

he had a reasonable expectation of privacy that Waterbury breached.

If he had a reasonable expectation of privacy, it was breached by Finlay when Finlay handed over his computer password.

 

43 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

She included him in her filing because she was on a mission to slash and burn

That's one interpretation.  Another is that It spoke directly to the suit's accusations that NYCB was responsible for fostering behavior that ended in damage to her. The court didn't find that keeping Finlay on the payroll without sanction and casting him after he caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage to a hotel room while on a NYCB tour and came to the studio inebriated and clearly a danger to his fellow dancers on their time and one their dime meant that NYCB shouldn't have had to realize that they were encouraging a powder keg, but I don't think it was an unreasonable argument to make. 

I don't know whether, had Waterbury gone to press without the suit whether the press would have written about the chat messages.  Had they, the damage to the Catazaro's and Ramasar's careers would have been the same, because what they were suspended over were violating company norms, not the lawsuit. Finlay resigned before he was fired, but, by then, the Company had a big and expensive enough dossier on him.

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9 hours ago, Rock said:

What do you mean it had no impact to their careers? Catazaro was too traumatized to return to the company. He went to Europe to find work. You call that no impact? Ramasar had to deal with protesters outside WSS picketing. Were there comments from Catazaro posted in the lawsuits? I didn't see that. Waterbury didn't need to "protect" them, she attacked them. She paid nothing; their lawyer fees are staggering. 

Aww poor poor babies. They had to pay lawyer fees. How awful! Meanwhile Waterbury had to deal with the fact that her most private moments were out there being disseminated by men she trusted. 

The misogyny is staggering as is the assumption that lawyer fees + bad press is the same trauma as being sexually violated and abused. 

Edited by canbelto
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The court decision made a clear distinction between who has potentially damaged Waterbury and decided that was Finlay in one specific way.  

I don't know enough about the legal system to know why, when Catazaro, Ramasar, and Longhitano were added to the suit, and their lawyers filed for them to be dropped, that, after discovery, the court didn't determine sooner that Waterbury didn't have standing to sue them, but limiting legal fees doesn't seem to be a prime driver, and the decision was comprehensive, if long into the process.  Where the messages weren't about Waterbury, the subjects of the messages, who might have shown damages, haven't sued in their own right. The court didn't rule that including anyone or any institution other than Finlay was frivolous or retaliatory or admonish Waterbury's lawyer for including them, although, not being a lawyer, I don't know if this is where the court would do it.

 

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