Juilliard is sued for defamation by fired church music director – SlippediscSlippedisc

norman lebrecht

December 26, 2022

In March this year, Julian Wachner was dismissed from his $400,000-a-year post at Trinity Church Wall Street after being accused of sexual misconduct while on a 2014 engagement with Juilliard School of Music.

Wachner, who says he was bankrupted by the dismissal, is now suing Juilliard for defamation over the alleged incident which, he says, was not properly investigated.

In an affidavit, filed on december 22, Wachner alleges ‘unlawful and improper conduct by the Juilliard School that wrongfully destroyed his career and reputation.’ He adds: ‘Juilliard violated its own relevant privacy policies and provided a materially misleading, false and defamatory response to the New York Times.’

At issue are claims of sexual assault by a woman, identified as ‘M.P.’ who was managing the 2014 event in South Carolina on Juilliard’s behalf. According to the affidavit, the ‘Plaintiff’s Brief, Consensual, Yet Highly Regrettable Encounter with M.P. in March 2014’ was not consummated. ‘Ultimately, Plaintiff and M.P. fell asleep, fully clothed, in Plaintiff’s hotel bed. They did not engage in any sexual contact beyond kissing and over-the-clothes touching… Several hours later, on March 14, 2014, Plaintiff received a strange email from
M.P., generically accusing Plaintiff of “sexual harassment”.’

‘M.P.’ is further desginated as a former employee of IMG Artists with ‘a history of erratic behavior.’

The Juilliard School has not yet filed a defence.

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