Accusers speak out against Albert Schultz and Soulpepper

Published By Alexandra Heilbron on Jan 05, 2018

Kristin Booth, Albert Schultz (inset) © Crown Media United States, LLC/Inset: Soulpepper Theatre CompanyAlbert Schultz, co-founder of the Toronto Soulpepper Theatre Company, has stepped down from his post as Artistic Director following allegations of sexual misconduct. Four actresses have filed civil suits against the 54-year-old actor/producer, who most recently can be seen playing Grace's lawyer on the TV series Alias Grace, and who is one of the executive producers of the sitcom Kim's Convenience.

Kristin Booth (pictured at left, with Schultz in inset photo), Hannah Miller, Patricia Fagan and Diana Bentley filed civil suits this week against Schultz and Soulpepper Theatre Company, saying Schultz sexually assaulted and harrassed them during their careers with Soulpepper. Their lawyer, Tatha Swann, said the women "faced constant sexual harassment, groping and unwanted touching at the hands of a serial sexual predator and bully. Soulpepper failed to protect them and failed to provide a safe work environment."

Kristin Booth said during the conference, "I did not bring these claims against Albert and Soulpepper lightly. But I did it now and I would do it again because there is a window of opportunity open for women like myself, Diana, Trish and Hannah and all the other women that we have heard from that have suffered at Albert's hands and others like him."

Hannah Miller also spoke, adding, "Soulpepper as it is, is not a safe environment."

Two of the theatre company's co-founders -- Ted Dykstra and Stuart Hughes -- who are well known in the theatre community and on Canadian television, have stepped down in solidarity with the four women who have launched suits against Schultz. Schultz's second wife, Leslie Lester, who also works as the company's executive director, also volunteered to step down.

Soulpepper was founded in 1998 by Schultz, his then-wife Susan Coyne, Dykstra, Hughes, Diana Leblanc, Diego Matamoros, Joseph Ziegler, Martha Burns, Michael Hanrahan, Nancy Palk, Robyn Steven, and William Webster. It's billed as Toronto's largest not-for-profit theatre company and North America's only year-round repertory company. ~Alexandra Heilbron

Comments & Discussion

  1. Lee Mac • 1/5/2018 12:45:03 PM

    too funny....this guy looks like a younger version of the serial Rapist Harvey Weinstein Lock him up and throw away the key !

  2. isabel • 1/5/2018 2:16:57 PM

    soulpepper has a great reputation as leading in creative theatre productions. good that schutlz stepped down, so the theatre can continue without the baggage. i can;t believe the number of harassment claims out there....it's really good women are now feeling they can be listened to.

  3. Doug • 1/5/2018 3:45:33 PM

    Welcome to "Hell on Earth!" The accusation(s) alone, of this type of abusive behavior will be enough to destroy your life, your friendships, and peace of mind. If the evidence demonstrates that you were abusive towards the people (especially younger women) that you had influence over, you will find no sympathy or forgiveness from me. The recent landslide of accusations against prominent and powerful personalities is the tip of the iceberg. At the heart of this issue is a long-standing social acceptance of abuse of power and authority, which is not limited to just the cream of society. If you have ever been on the receiving end of abusive treatment in any form you may recognize how spiritually amputating it can be and sustained abuse will likely effect you for the rest of your life. If you count yourself among the elite or powerful who have abused the people around you with impunity, you should now be very afraid that you will be sent to Hell before you die as well as afterward.

  4. Cindy • 1/7/2018 11:10:05 PM

    Kudos to the two men who stepped down in support of these women, too and to the women who had the bravery to out this despicable person.

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