Oscar Gonzalez/WENN.com

Belgian artist Jan Fabre is accused of sexual transgression by ex-employees

About twenty Jan Fabre’s employees and trainees complain about the behaviour of the renowned Antwerp artist in an open letter published Wednesday evening on the website of the art magazine rekto:verso. Acts of humiliation and sexual intimidation are reported.

The open letter refers to semi-secret photographic activities. The renowned artist allegedly invited dancers to perform in visual art performances and, under this pretext, attempted to get closer. Some dancers would have been offered, after these sessions, substantial sums of money. Who refused them, saw his role limited, and exposed himself to humiliation or manipulation, states the open letter, signed by eight people whose names are revealed, the rest of the signatories remaining anonymous.

Jan Fabre is also accused of humiliating women during rehearsals with "painful and often openly sexist criticism".

Some of the signatories claim to have been victims of sexual transgressive practices, others to have witnessed them.

Their testimony is now public because attempts to dialogue with Jan Fabre within the Troubleyn company have not been successful.

The signatories are also offended by an interview in which the artist claims that he has never seen any problems with transgressive sexual behaviour during his fourty years of collaboration. However, in two years, no fewer than six employees have left for this reason, the document points out.

Fabre and Troubleyn deny the criticisms on the rekto:verso website: "We don't force anyone here to do things that are considered for one or the other as beyond their limits". They also regret that a trial is conducted in the media without the possibility of self-defence and challenge any inappropriate behaviour.

Jan Fabre reacted : "I never intended to intimidate or hurt people psychologically or sexually."

In the meantime the Labour Auditor's public prosecutor from Antwerp has started a research into the artist.