Entertainment Four Soulpepper artists resign in 'support' of actresses who accuse Albert Schultz of sexual misconduct

17:16  04 january  2018
17:16  04 january  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

Canadian theatre star Albert Schultz sued by 4 women who call him 'serial sexual predator'

  Canadian theatre star Albert Schultz sued by 4 women who call him 'serial sexual predator' Four women filed civil lawsuits Wednesday against Albert Schultz, accusing the Canadian actor and artistic director of the Soulpepper Theatre Company of sexual battery and harassment of a sexual nature over a 13-year period. Toronto-based Soulpepper has also been named in the statements of claim of each lawsuit, which detail allegations of unwanted groping, harassment and sexual remarks in the workplace from 2000 to 2013.

Four members of the Soulpepper Theatre Company announced their resignation Thursday morning, ahead of a press conference in which four actresses who accuse artistic director Albert Schultz of sexual assault and harassment are set to speak out.

Soulpepper Theatre Company artistic director Albert Schultz sits in his office at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Canada in a file photo. The Harvey Weinstein effect: The many men accused of sexual misconduct since the scandal broke.

a person posing for the camera: Patricia Fagan and Kristin Booth pictured here are two of the four women who launched civil suits against Soulpepper and Schultz alleging sexual harassment and assault over a period spanning 13 years.© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Patricia Fagan and Kristin Booth pictured here are two of the four women who launched civil suits against Soulpepper and Schultz alleging sexual harassment and assault over a period spanning 13 years.

Four members of the Soulpepper Theatre Company announced their resignation Thursday morning, ahead of a press conference in which four actresses who accuse artistic director Albert Schultz of sexual assault and harassment are set to speak out.

Ted Dykstra, Stuart Hughes, Michelle Monteith and Rick Roberts announced their resignations in a brief statement.

Heartbreak, if not surprise, follows sexual misconduct allegations against Albert Schultz

  Heartbreak, if not surprise, follows sexual misconduct allegations against Albert Schultz Heartbreak, if not surprise, follows sexual misconduct allegations against Albert SchultzNone of the four lawsuits against Schultz — now on a leave of absence at the company's behest, pending its investigation — have been tested in court and he has vowed to "vehemently defend" himself.

Albert Schultz , shown in 2013, founded the Soulpepper Theatre Company along with 11 other artists in 1998. In separate sexual -harassment lawsuits, four women are seeking damages totalling .6-million from Mr. Schultz and .25-million from Soulpepper .

Albert Schultz , an actor , artistic director and co-founder of Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company, was sued on Wednesday by four actresses who claim that he sexually harassed them and engaged in sexual battery against them over a period of 13 years.

"These artists support and stand with the brave women who have come forward to end the culture of silence that has existed at Soulpepper under Mr. Schultz. They believe the allegations made by these women," Alexi Wood of St. Lawrence Barristers LLP, counsel to the artists, said in the statement.

Dykstra, Hughes, Monteith and Roberts "support the choice of Alan Dilworth as acting artistic director, but until Mr. Schultz has no role with the company, they will not work there," the statement went on.

"My clients look forward to a Soulpepper that provides a safe space to create groundbreaking theatre," Wood said.

Actresses to speak

The four actresses who have accused Schultz of sexual assault and harassment were scheduled to hold a news conference this morning to discuss their lawsuits against him.

A quick sketch of Albert Schultz

  A quick sketch of Albert Schultz A quick sketch of Albert SchultzBiographical details: Schultz was born in Port Hope, Ont., in 1963, but grew up in Okotoks, Alta. He was among the founding members of Soulpepper when the company launched in 1998 and served as its artistic director ever since.

Albert Schultz , the artistic director and co-founder of Canada’s Soulpepper Theatre Company, has been accused of sexual assault by four women in separate civil lawsuits. The four actresses , Patricia Fagan, Kristin Booth, Diana Bentley and Hannah Miller

Soulpepper Theatre head Albert Schultz — now on a leave of absence pending an investigation — has vowed to 'vehemently defend' himself against accusations of sexual misconduct . Post-Weinstein era prompts swift action against stars accused of sexual misconduct .

Patricia Fagan, Hannah Miller, Kristin Booth and Diana Bentley filed separate civil lawsuits against the Soulpepper Theatre artistic director and the company, alleging unwanted groping, harassment and sexual remarks in the workplace from 2000 to 2013. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The allegations against Schultz were reported Wednesday by CBC, as part of an investigation by The Fifth Estate, The National and The Current into sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the theatre's board of directors released a statement that said it instructed Schultz, 54, to "step down from all his Soulpepper responsibilities" while the company's board investigates the allegations.

On Wednesday evening, Schultz issued a statement that said he is stepping aside, effectively immediately, while the investigation is conducted.

"These claims make serious allegations against me which I do not take lightly. Over the coming time period, I intend to vehemently defend myself," Schultz said.

Soulpepper, one of Canada's most successful theatre companies, recently completed a critically acclaimed run off-Broadway in New York and is lauded for shining a spotlight on diverse talent and work that challenges its audiences.

Former George Brown theatre students allege they were humiliated, abused by faculty .
Former George Brown theatre students allege they were humiliated, abused by facultyThe allegations, some dating back more than a decade, describe an environment in which students were bullied by teachers, and feared being kicked out of the program if they spoke up.

Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/entertainment/-58727-four-soulpepper-artists-resign-in-support-of-actresses-who-accuse-albert-schultz-of-sexual-misconduct/

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