NEWS

Lignadis denies rape charges in written notice to magistrate

lignadis-denies-rape-charges-in-written-notice-to-magistrate

Prominent actor and director Dimitris Lignadis has denied charges of repeatedly sexually molesting underage boys in a lengthy memo submitted to an investigative magistrate on Thursday.

“I have never expressed an erotic-sexual interest in underage individuals, nor have I ever had any erotic-sexual contact with any underage individual, with or without their consent,” the former artistic director of the prestigious Greek National Theater, who resigned from his post when the first of the allegations against him surfaced earlier this month, said.

He dismissed charges against him as “lies” and claimed that the allegations have been “fabricated” by the board of the Greek Actors’ Guild in retaliation for criticism from Lignadis over how it runs the association and handles its finances. “These people have envied me since the start of my career,” he said in the 27-page memo.

Lignadis went on to claim that the unnamed board members became even more hostile towards him after he was appointed to the helm of the National Theater in August 2019 and accused them of resorting to a smear campaign in social media in the wake of a wave of public allegations of sexual misconduct in the arts and the sports, triggered by Olympic sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou’s revelation last month that she had been sexually abused in 1998.

Lignadis also claims to have an alibi for the alleged rapes in 2010 and 2015, while he also points to what he says are inconsistencies in the testimonies of his alleged victims.