Theatre director László Marton has issued an apology after actress Lilla Sárosdi and six other anonymous women accused him of sexual assault. Marton, the former head of the Vígszínház theatre and professor emeritus at the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest (SZFE), initially denied all accusations and remained silent, but released an apology last week, which was reported by state-run news agency MTI.
According to index.hu, Marton’s entire statement reads:
“The news that came forth in recent days regarding my person has shattered everything around me. It hasn’t spared my family, my work, or myself. I have been trying all my life to produce, to create and to give. All this has now been destroyed because of such – mostly anonymous – accounts that also include one-sided assessments.
“In the course of my career I have aspired not to hurt others, but to help them, on the stage and off. I have never wanted to humiliate another person.
“I now understand that there are people who think and feel that I have approached them in such a way and done things that hurt them.
“I hereby send the message to every person who spoke out with or without her name that I apologize if I did anything or behaved in a way that hurt her or put her in a difficult situation. I sincerely ask for the acceptance of my apology.
“Besides my apology, I remain at the service of the Vígszínház and the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest so that they may listen to the theatre company’s members, the theatre’s workers, and all of my past and present students regarding my leadership, directing and teaching.”
Lilla Sárosdi told zoom.hu that Marton’s apology relieved the frustration of twenty years, and she accepted it. She expressed her hope that the public apology will motivate perpetrators to honestly face their acts.
Meanwhile, two other women anonymously told index.hu that Marton had assaulted them in the 1990s and in 2012.
Vígszínház has initiated Marton’s dismissal after his open letter. The university announced that an Ethics Committee including teachers and students will investigate Marton’s case at the request of SZFE’s rector. Marton has further requested the suspension of his Hungarian Academy of Arts.