A New York City Ballet’s principal is accused of swapping naked photos of young ballerinas with other men in the company.
A young ballerina, Alexandra Waterbury, who happened to be the ex-girlfriend of the former principal dancer for the ballet, Chase Finlay, accused the man of swapping her naked photos with “other male dancers, employees, donors and even a pimp” without her consent.
The 20-year-old filed the lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend and the New York City Ballet after the company announced the dismissal of three male principals Finlay, Amar Ramasar and Zachary Catazaro. The company said they will not be performing in the upcoming season because of “inappropriate communications” via text and emails.
According to the 40-page complaint filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court suit, the alleged abuser sent out this message to other men in the company, “You have any pictures of girls you’ve f***ed? I’ll send you some [hot] ballerina girls I’ve made scream.”
According to the lawsuit, male dancers allegedly started exchanging images of their girlfriends in a chain of messages that started from September 2017 and continued till May 2018.
The lawsuit detailed that an unnamed top donor said in a text message, “we should get like half a kilo [of cocaine] and put it over the girls and just violate them.”
“I bet we could tie some of them up and abuse them like farm animals,” said the donor. And Finlay reportedly replied back saying, “or like the sluts they are,” according to his ex-girlfriend’s complaint.
At one time, a ballet employee messaged Finlay and said “I want to j*** off to watching u and Alex f*** lol' and 'I can’t stop looking at Alex's t**s lol,” he wrote, referring to Waterbury.
“The male dancers…understood that they were ‘above the law’ and could do whatever they wanted to women, whenever they wanted to do so — just make sure it occurs in New York, where it could be controlled by [NYC Ballet’s] executives and management,” the lawsuit alleged.
Waterbury accused the company of “breeding ground for sexual exploitation where women are objectified and treated as second-class citizens.”
She further complained that at least one of the high-ranking officials in the company knew about Finlay's substance abuse. The unnamed official used to ask the principal if he had partied last night because he would show up at work smelling of alcohol. However, the company did nothing and “buried its head in the sand and chose not to address the principal’s conduct.”
Waterbury’s attorney wrote that, “Clearly, New York City Ballet had extensive knowledge of this out-of-control, fraternity-house, abusive and sexually charged environment, but it did nothing to stop it, so long as it continued to sell tickets.”
Now Finlay is being sued for negligence, intentional affliction of emotional distress, assault, battery and invasion of privacy. The lawsuit seeks undetermined punitive damages, compensatory damages and attorney's fees from the former principal.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Getty Images, Hiroyuki Ito