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Former director of Greece’s National Theatre charged with rape

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By Euronews  with AP
Former Director of National Theatre of Greece, Dimitris Lignadis, speaking in 2019
Former Director of National Theatre of Greece, Dimitris Lignadis, speaking in 2019   -   Copyright  EUROKINISSI / AFP

The former artistic director of Greece’s National Theatre, Dimitris Lignadis, has been arrested on rape charges, Greek police said.

The well-known stage actor and director turned himself in on Saturday afternoon at Athens police headquarters, Greek Police spokesman Theodoros Chronopoulos told the Associated Press.

The 56-year-old was being held pending an appearance before a magistrate.

Lignadis resigned his position as artistic director of Greece’s National Theater two weeks ago, amid rumours of alleged sexual misconduct.

He has denied accusations against him.

#MeToo in Greece

Revelations earlier this year by an Olympic gold medalist that she had been raped by a sailing federation official back in 1998 have sparked a #MeToo movement reckoning in Greece.

People have come forward to accuse well-known figures of sexual harassment, assault and rape.

Well-known actors and directors have come under fire, but Lignadis is the first to be arrested.

The case has taken on political dimensions. The political opposition accused the Greek government of failing to follow up on complaints, while the culture minister responded 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 theater community.