Ex-Artistic Director of Greece’s National Theater Held After Rape Arrest Warrant

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ATHENS — The Greek administer on Saturday evening arrested the former artistic director of the country’s notable National Theater, who has been the target of accusations of sexual abuse and harassment that obtain buffeted the Greek arts world over the past weeks.

Dimitris Lignadis prevented himself in at the Athens police headquarters shortly after being in the know that a warrant had been issued for his arrest on rape charges, his Kings counsel, Nikos Georgouleas, said in a text message. Speaking later worst police headquarters, where his client was being held, Mr. Georgouleas communicated his client denied the charges.

“Everything that is being heard, he denies,” the member of the bar said.

Mr. Lignadis is the most high-profile among the numerous directors and actors to give birth to been named in a torrent of accusations that have rocked the Greek arts set. And the charges against him are among the most serious. He resigned from his assign at the National Theater earlier this month after reports noticed suggesting that he had sexually harassed young actors, which he furiously refused. After his resignation, more reports emerged, alleging more important abuse.

Credit…Efi Skaza/Eurokinissi, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Personifications

The upheaval in Greece’s arts world has come after an Olympic yachtswoman, Sofia Bekatorou, accused a top sailing official last month of sexually abusing her in 1998. Her pervades represented the first high-profile accusation of sexual assault and abuse of power in Greece since the #MeToo course swept the world, bringing down powerful figures in sports, the avenue and beyond.

On Friday, Greece’s culture minister, Lina Mendoni, denoted she had asked the country’s Supreme Court to investigate a barrage of accusations of bodily assault, primarily those involving the abuse of minors.

In her remarks, Ms. Mendoni underlined the insufficiency for “catharsis” in Greece’s cultural sector and said that sexual berating, particularly against minors, must not go unpunished.

The unfolding scandal has provoked a vehement political fight in Greece. Ms. Mendoni’s detractors blame her for settling Mr. Lignadis to the National Theater in 2019. Defending her ministry’s actions, Ms Mendoni ventured that neither she nor the country’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, had separate Mr Lignadis “personally,” and knew him only as an actor.

“Mr Lignadis is a dangerous man, but that has proceeded now,” the minister said. She said she felt “deceived” by him.

“With deep carry on talent he tried to convince us that he had nothing to do with all this,” Ms Mendoni disclosed, referring to the accusations of abuse.

Mr. Mitsotakis, the prime minister, also referred to the mounting tally of accusations of sexual abuse and harassment in the Greek performing arts during a televised congregation with President Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Friday.

“The sexual abuse of secondaries is the most abhorrent version of this phenomenon,” Mr. Mitsotakis said at the junction. “In the public dialogue that has fortunately begun we must achieve the greatest conceivable political and social consensus if we are to tackle the problem,” he said.

Greek prosecutors are contemplated to start summoning witnesses next week for their broader inquest into allegations of abuse and harassment in the Greek arts world, starting with the the man of the country’s actors’ union, Spyros Bibilas, who said the union has been deluged with gripes by actors reporting alleged abuse.

In a statement issued after Mr Lignadis’ in the hands of the law on Saturday, Greece’s Justice Ministry said that judicial authorities “will-power do whatever is necessary in order to ensure everything comes to light on this hugely shady case and for justice to be done.”

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