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More #metoo cases in Greece as Lignadis is charged

Mr Lignadis

National Theatre director Dimitris Lignadis, 56, is accused of raping a 14-year-old boy in 2010, and of a second assault, details of which have not been made public.

Lignadis was detained after turning himself in at a police station in Athens on Saturday.

The former National Theatre director resigned on Feb. 6 after reports suggesting he sexually harassed young actors, which he denied.

More #metoo cases in Greece as Lignadis is charged 1
Mr Lignadis

In his letter of resignation, which was made public by the Culture Ministry, Lignadis referred to a “toxic climate of rumours,” but didn’t say why if he was innocent that he was stepping down.

His lawyer, Nikos Georgouleas, said Lignadis was unfairly targeted and vilified.

Since his resignation, posters with his photo have been plastered on bus stops in central Athens, warning that he will “pay for everything.”

“He feels like he’s in the eye of this storm, with new rumours coming out every day,” Georgouleas said that Lignadis was ready to “offer any explanations necessary” to prosecutors.

Many other famous actors and directors have been accused of harassment or assault, complaining of a near witch hunt like campaign targeting people with anonymous sources.

Three actresses issued a joint statement in late January accusing Kostas Spyropoulos, an actor and director, of sexual harassment, bringing him to issue a statement apologizing for offending anyone.

Numerous actresses have accused another prominent director and actor, George Kimoulis, of verbal and physical abuse, though not sexual harassment, which he said were “unacceptable and false,” and is prosecuting one of them.

But organizers of the popular Athens and Epidaurus Festival didn’t wait for a resolution and fired him from a play scheduled to be staged at the ancient Epidaurus theatre this summer, saying they had to do it because of “the heavy shadow of recent developments.”

The political opposition accused the Greek government of failing to follow up on complaints. Simultaneously, the culture minister responded on Friday by accusing Lignadis of being a “dangerous man” who had “deceived” her with his acting ability.

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said she asked a Supreme Court prosecutor to investigate all abuse allegations in Greece’s theatre community.

In Greece, public revelations like these sorts are rare, even as #MeToo movements grip countries worldwide.

READ MORE: Survey finds 65% of women in Greece have experienced sexual harassment.