New York City Ballet Leader Who Left Amid Sex Allegations ‘Still Visits Backstage’

Peter Martins—the former leader of New York City Ballet who retired early last year following sexual harassment allegations—is still showing up backstage after shows and ordering cast changes, The New York Times reports. Martins ran the company for over three decades but left in January 2018 amid allegations of sexual harassment and physical and verbal abuse—he strongly denied the allegations. However, Martins reportedly defied instructions to wait until dancers had left before going backstage after the first performance of The Sleeping Beauty last week. Jonathan Stafford, the company’s interim leader, said: “Unfortunately, he did not respect my wishes, even though I was crystal clear ... I was as surprised as anybody ... One dancer complained to me directly.” Martins reportedly retains artistic say over his ballets and Ashley Bouder, a star dancer, said Martins removed her from the opening night cast of The Sleeping Beauty because of her outspokenness about feminism and gender. “I feel like he is punishing me, even though he is not my boss anymore,” she said. “And by talking about it I can be punished even further. But that’s a risk I have to take.”