Actor and former National Theater director Dimitris Lignadis, who is on trial on charges of raping four males will start testifying before a mixed jury court on Monday (June 27), after the last three witnesses in the trial completed their testimonies on Friday.
On Friday, the court heard from three witnesses for the defence who focused mainly on Lignadis’ character and cited professional rivalry or romantic disappointment as possible explanations for the accusations.
A former partner of the actor and director testified that in the four years of their relationship, Lignadis “treated me with great tenderness and I had not seen any evidence of violence. We parted amicably and all these years his behavior was impeccable,” She also referred to colleagues of the accused “who were jealous” of his accomplishments.
A decorator and friend of Lignadis was asked about the interior layout of the accused’s apartment, to compare to the descriptions given by the victims. According to the witness, “the way the house is described is not reality. The kitchen and living room are a separate area and not visible. I decorated the house and I know it well.”
The third witness was his cleaner, who testified that, from 2011 until the moment he was arrested, she had never seen anyone else in the actor’s house. “Neither a man nor woman, nor clothes that did not belong to him,” she said, adding that she did not know or had ever seen any of the victims.
According to the indictment, Lignadis, 57, took advantage of his name as an actor and director to approach and sexually abuse his victims. He has denied the charges against him since the day of his arrest on February 2021 when he was accused of rape by two men who were minors aged 14 and 17 when the alleged events occurred in 2010 and 2015.
He has also stated that he is bisexual and denies allegations he used violence against the plaintiffs. He has been remanded in custody ever since.