Two male dancers from The New York City Ballet have been fired after they were accused of sharing explicit photos of dancers.
Dancers Zachary Catazaro, 29, and Amar Ramasar, 36, were fired on Saturday morning.
The two were cited in the lawsuit by student dancer Alexandra Waterbury, 20, who accused them of sharing nude photos with her ex-boyfriend Chase Finlay, who was also a principal dancer in the company until he resigned recently.
The two were suspended without payment on August 27 for "inappropriate communications" & # 39; before they were canceled on Saturday.
The main dancers Zachary Catazaro, 29, (left) and Amar Ramasar, 36, (right) were fired from the New York City Ballet on Saturday
They were suspended on August 27 and then fired on Saturday after the accusations filed in the 20-year suit of Alexandra Waterbury on September 4. She alleged that Catazaro, Ramasar and her ex-boyfriend and principal dancer Chase Finlay shared explicit photos and videos of company dancers
Waterbury alleged that Finlay sent explicit photos and videos to Catazaro, to Ramasar and to other men of the company who wrote: "Do you have photos of girls you have pretended to? [hot] Dancing girls I've made scream &, according to the New York Post.
She says that, according to reports, Ramasar sent her a picture of the breasts of a ballet dancer. Waterbury also accused Catazaro of exchanging explicit photos with Finlay, but did not elaborate on the content.
The ballet company said that Ramasar, Catazaro and Finlay were "involved in inappropriate communications, which, although personal, off-hours and off-site, had violated the standards of conduct that NYCB expects from its employee."
However, the dancers are responding to the accusations and in statements published on Saturday they say they are shocked by the shooting.
"I am shocked and deeply saddened by the decision of the New York City Ballet to say goodbye," Ramasar said in a statement on Saturday. "I am an honest and honorable person, and I have always treated everyone, including my colleagues, staff, friends and others at NYCB, with the utmost respect."
He added that he will tell his side of the story in the coming days.
"My whole story has not yet been revealed and, as a result, people have concluded the worst of me, unfortunately, we live at a time when accusations are taken as facts, and actions are taken hastily and harshly," he said. . "I am a poor, minority child on the streets of the Bronx and I have risen through thick and thin for everything I've been able to achieve."
Catazaro, who has worked at the company for 11 years, also issued a statement on social networks after the dismissal.
Ramasar responded to the shot with a sincere message from Instagram saying: "I am shocked and deeply saddened by the decision of the New York City Ballet to say goodbye."
Catazaro also posted a statement on Instagram that said: "It saddens me deeply that the New York City Ballet cancels my contract."
Waterbury, pictured above, alleged that Finlay sent explicit photos and videos to Catazaro, Ramasar and other men of the company, and both sent explicit content in return.
"I am deeply saddened by the cancellation of my contract by the New York City Ballet," he said on Saturday. "First of all, I want to clarify that I did not start, I did not participate or was associated with any personal material of Alexandra Waterbury that supposedly was shared with others".
"Although I was initially suspended for other private and personal communications, the NYCB dancers union, AGMA (American Association of Musical Artists), maintains that these communications were given outside of work hours and do not justify termination," he added. .
He also claimed that he was not named as a defendant in the Waterbury lawsuit.
"I worked all my life to reach the level of Principal Dancer in a company that has the highest prestige, and I am devastated by the possibility of not being able to share the stage with the wonderful and talented artists and my friends there." he added in his statement. "I respect and admire all the dancers with whom I dance in the company, and I strive every day to be the best possible companion."
In her September 4 lawsuit, Waterbury sued the New York City Ballet and her main dancer, her ex-boyfriend, Chase Finlay, 28.
She said that he took videos and pictures of her without her notice and shared them with men in the ballet company. Waterbury and Finlay appear together at the Ballet Spring Gala in 2017
On Saturday, the New York City Ballet said: "We have no obligation other than to ensure that our dancers and staff have a workplace where they feel respected and valued, and we are committed to providing that environment to all employees of the Ballet of the New York City"
Waterbury, a dancer, model and Ivy League college student filed his explosive 40-page lawsuit in the Manhattan Supreme Court on September 4, containing explosive allegations against the New York City Ballet and his ex-boyfriend Finlay.
She said she sent videos and photos taken of her without her knowledge to other men, including dancers in the Ballet.
She said that the company tolerated an "atmosphere of fraternity" in which male dancers could "degrade, degrade, mistreat and abuse, assault and mistreat women without consequences."
The lawsuit says that a male donor wrote to Finlay suggesting that men should tie dancers and abuse them like farm animals, "to which Finlay replied," or like the foxes they are. "
The ballet company denied tolerating such behavior and launched an investigation. They said they planned to fire Finlay, who resigned in August 2018 before disciplinary measures could be taken.
Ramasar said in a statement: "I am an honest and honorable person, and I have always treated everyone, including my colleagues, staff, friends and others at NYCB, with the utmost respect." Ramasar appears on the left after the 2018 Carousel Broadway performance
Catazaro worked with the company for 11 years and issued a statement on Saturday that said: "First of all, I want to clarify that I did not start, I did not participate or relate to any personal material of Alexandra Waterbury that supposedly was shared with others & # 39;
After the lawsuit, Finlay's lawyer said the accusations "should not be taken as fact."
In light of the dismissals, City Ballet executive director Katherine Brown and acting team leader Jonathan Stafford issued a statement.
"We have no obligation other than to ensure that our dancers and staff have a workplace where they feel respected and valued, and we are committed to providing that environment for all employees of the New York City Ballet," reads the statement. release.
"We will not allow the private actions of a few to undermine the hard work and strength of character consistently demonstrated by the other members of our community or the excellence for which the company stands," he added.
The union of the American Association of Musical Artists that represents Ramasar and Catazaro said it will challenge the dismissals.
"Based on all the information received from the company, the allegations are completely related to activities not related to the work and do not reach the level of termination of" just cause, "the union said in a statement. would AGMA for any of its members, soon we will file a demand for arbitration to enforce the labor rights of our members & # 39;
The ballet has lost three of its top 14 male dancers and is opening its 2018-2019 season next week.