NEW YORK (AP) — Marcelo Gomes, a high-profile principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, has resigned amid an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct eight years ago, abruptly leaving the second ballet company in the city to be rocked by misconduct allegations.
American Ballet Theatre said Thursday it initiated an independent investigation after learning of a “highly concerning” allegation about Gomes on Saturday. “ABT does not tolerate the alleged behavior,” the company said.
American Ballet Theatre said the alleged misconduct did not involve any current or former members of the company and did not occur while he was an employee. “Amid the investigation, Mr. Gomes put forth his resignation,” said the statement from Chairman Andrew F. Barth.
Gomes, who is a native of Brazil, was invited to join ABT in 1997 at age 18 and was promoted to principal dancer in 2002. He’s danced Twyla Tharp’s “Sinatra Suite” and has been allowed to leave ABT for different projects, including as a guest artist with the Kirov and The Royal Ballet. He made his debut with the Bolshoi Ballet in 2013.
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Gomes has appeared in Matthew Bourne’s “The Car Man” and “Swan Lake,” and as Carabosse in “The Sleeping Beauty.” He received a Dance Magazine Award in 2015 and choreographed the Under Armour “I Will What I Want” TV campaign starring ballerina Misty Copeland.
In a statement, Lisa Linden, spokeswoman for the dancer said: “This is a time of reflection for Marcelo. He is gratified and strengthened by the support he has received from family, friends and colleagues. We have no further comment at this time.”
Gomes’ resignation comes less than a month after New York City Ballet said its longtime leader Peter Martins was taking a leave of absence during an investigation into a sexual harassment.
The company hired a law firm to conduct the investigation after receiving an anonymous letter accusing Martins of past harassment. Martins referred to the allegations as “false claims.”