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Gay Men’s Chorus of LA leader steps down after claims of sexual misconduct

Gay Men’s Chorus of LA leader steps down after claims of sexual misconduct

Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angles hit by #MeToo scandal | Photo: Facebook

One of the most well known gay men in Los Angeles is stepping down after claims of sexual misconduct.

John Duran, also the mayor of West Hollywood, has denied allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.

However, he is also stepping down from his post at the end of the season.

Three chorus members accuse West Hollywood mayor of sexual misconduct

Three current or former chorus members have accused Duran of inappropriate comments or touching.

Jason Tong has accused Doran of slipping his hand inside the waistband of his underwear in a changing room before a show.

He described the alleged incident as a ‘traumatic and shocking experience’. He said this prompted him to leave the group.

Tong said chorus leaders ‘supported somebody who wielded power rather than somebody who is vulnerable and needs community’.

Brian Philip Nichoalds claimed he was also victim of a similar incident. He said Duran slipped his hand inside his waistband and made sexually inappropriate comments.

When elected to membership committee, Nichoalds said he was made aware of other alleged incidents of misconduct by Duran. Nichoalds said he believes no action was taken.

Joey Firoben reported two incidents. He resigned from the group, claiming Duran made inappropriate comments and another alleging a different chorus member groped him multiple times during a dress rehearsal.

Firoben told the LA Times: ‘I flat-out told them that I can’t support the organization anymore because there is too much sexual misconduct, particularly from leaders of the organization.’

John Duran denies any wrongdoing 

Duran has denied any wrongdoing in his 20 years with the chorus.

He also said he was planning on leaving the group anyway due to the ‘toxic’ climate.

Board member Diane Abbitt, chair of the human resources committee, said she was only aware of one allegation against Duran.

‘If there was a problem, if there were allegations of sexual harassment, they would have been brought to the board,’ Abbitt said.

‘Nobody has even asked me privately to have a discussion about allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct.’

In 2016, a former aide to Duran alleged sexual harassment and settled for $500,000 with Duran admitting no wrongdoing.

See also:

Director Bryan Singer denies sexual misconduct with underage boys

Leading gay Democrat faces accusations of sexual misconduct

Randy Rainbow sings about Kavanaugh and the sexual misconduct allegations against him