Peter Martins Retires From New York City Ballet After Misconduct Allegations

Mr. Martins was charged in Ardsley, N.Y., after a minor accident in the village square, the police chief, Emil J. Califano, said by telephone Monday night. In a previous incident, in 2011, he pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated.

In his letter, Mr. Martins said the abuse and harassment accusations by dancers had “exacted a painful toll on me and my family.” He said he had decided to retire to “bring an end to this disruption.”

Mr. Scharf said in his statement that the company and its School of American Ballet “will convene a committee promptly to begin the search for a new ballet master in chief.” Last month it appointed an interim four-person team to lead the company.

Five City Ballet dancers — one of whom is still with the company — recently came forward in The New York Times to describe verbal and physical abuse dating as far back as 1993.

His departure could create more turmoil within the company. As the investigation was being conducted, an apparent split emerged among former and current dancers over the fate of Mr. Martins.

In recent interviews, 24 women and men — all former dancers at the company or its school — described a culture of intimidation under Mr. Martins, which they said has hurt the careers of generations of performers.

The former dancers said that when they worked under Mr. Martins, they and many peers had been too afraid to complain as he verbally and physically bullied performers and students; shamed them about their bodies; and abused his power by conducting sexual relationships with select dancers.

Vanessa Carlton, a former dancer with the school, recently sent an email to Robert I. Lipp, a vice chairman of City Ballet.

“Dancers tend not to talk,” wrote Ms. Carlton, now a singer-songwriter. “I’m concerned that this reticence is being misread as a sign to you and your fellow board members that they are not upset.”

She continued, “Every single ex-dancer that I know, including myself, will be devastated if Peter is allowed to waltz back into his office.”

In the other camp were several current dancers who, before Mr. Martins’s resignation, said the accusations against him did not jibe with the leader they know and that the complaints were coming from dancers who had left the company.

“He has been nothing but respectful of me,” Sterling Hyltin, a longtime principal ballerina, said in a recent interview. “It’s been really upsetting to see former…

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