Canadian theater director accused of sexual misconduct
Four actresses accused Canadian theater director and actor Albert Schultz of being a "serial sexual predator," the latest in a wave of women going public with past abuses by powerful men.
Diana Bentley, Kristin Booth, Patricia Fagan and Hannah Miller each filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, after which Schultz announced he was stepping down from Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre Company, which he co-founded, pending the investigation.
"For my clients, this pattern of abuse started as soon as they began their careers at Soulpepper," the women's lawyer said.
The allegations concern events that took place between 2000 and 2013.
"The #MeToo campaign has shown us that for the first time people are listening and that people care," Fagan said, referring to the social media campaign revealing sexual misconduct after allegations of widespread abuse surfaced against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Booth, who starred in the series Orphan Black, added: "There is a window open for women like myself, Diana, Trish and Hannah and all the other women that we have heard from (who) have suffered at Albert's hand and others like him."
Two co-founders and two artists under contract with Soulpepper also announced at the press conference that they were resigning in solidarity with the four women.
In announcing he was stepping away from his role during the probe, Schultz said "these claims make serious allegations against me which I do not take lightly."
"Over the coming time period, I intend to vehemently defend myself," he added.
The plaintiffs are demanding nearly Can$8 million ($6.4 million US) in damages from both Schultz and the theater company, according to local media.
Other Canadian entertainment figures have also seen sexual harassment allegations force their careers into a nosedive, including producer Gilbert Rozon and Canadian broadcast producer and host Eric Salvail.
© 2018 AFP