Liam Scarlett, the American dancer and choreographer, who was accused of sexual misconduct, has died, his family announced on Wednesday. He was 35.
His family said he died on Monday after a yearlong battle with cancer.
“We are devastated to announce the sudden loss of our precious son, brother, uncle, dear friend and dancer, Liam Scarlett,” the statement said. “He died peacefully on Monday of cancer after a heartbreaking and long battle. We are grateful for the many expressions of love and support during this difficult time.”
The family said Scarlett was considered one of the most important contemporary dancers of his generation and that he “will be dearly missed.”
Last year, the company Scarlett co-founded, Zipporah Co., was placed on probation after multiple complaints of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior were brought against him. He was put on leave in November after The New York Times published an account by then-25-year-old dancer Lottie Copeland, who said he made unwanted sexual advances toward her.
Zipporah Co. dancer, Lottie Copeland. (NY Times)
In February, the company’s board of directors also announced it was terminating the dancer for “sexual misconduct,” but had left it unclear whether he was ousted because of complaints. In a statement, Zipporah Co. also stated that the dancer “had been investigated and dismissed” before the recent allegations.
In November, the agency also announced that the artistic director of Zipporah Co., George D.W. Curtis, would no longer continue leading the company. Zipporah Co. said at the time that two dancers, Amy Halm and Barrington Bobbitt, were being reinstated to the company, which they said “will operate in the works.”
On Wednesday, a source close to Zipporah Co. said that D.W. Curtis would remain the artistic director.
Earlier this month, a dance teacher named Marcus Masters, a Chicago-based director of Ballet Storylogue, accused the dancer of serial sexual abuse.