Court approves $ 10 million settlement in proceedings over Royal Winnipeg Ballet photographer


Winnipeg — Royal Winnipeg Ballet apologizes to students on the same day the court approved a $ 10 million settlement in a class action over allegations that former teachers and photographers took intimate photographs and released them without consent. increase.

The Dance Company has posted a one-page apology on its website, which is a condition of the settlement agreement.

In the post, the organization acknowledges that the photography session was traumatic for many students.

In the proceedings, Bruce Monk took student nude, semi-nude, and intimate photos, some of which were published, sold, and distributed online.

The proceedings were filed on behalf of a student who attended ballet school between 1984 and 2015 and was allegedly photographed in a private place by a monk.

The proceedings do not claim that the monk’s actions are a crime, and none of the claims have been proved in court.

The school says it regrets not being able to provide a safe and supportive environment for ex-students.

“The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is deeply sorry and regrets that the talented and vulnerable youth members of the class were not protected as they should be,” an apology posted on Friday. It is stated in.

In another statement, the ballet company said the Ontario Superior Court had approved the settlement.

Andre Lewis, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, thanked the students for sharing their stories.

“We offer a heartfelt apology to all victims and affected people,” he said in a statement.

“I celebrate the courage and courage of former students and speak forward. We are 100% committed to developing a safe, positive, training, work and living environment that everyone feels. I want you to know. It is cherished and supported. “

Wadel Phillips, a Toronto-based law firm, claimed that Monk distributed photos without the student’s consent and used his trust and power position to violate the student’s privacy.

The company fired the monk in 2015 after the allegations came to light.

The settlement includes a one-time payment for medical services to qualified students and up to $ 2,500 for families affected by the student’s trauma. The balance will be paid to the student based on the severity of the harm.

Claims will be open for 12 months.

Along Brittany Hobson

Canadian press

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