Art magazine publisher resigns over sexual harassment suit
NEW YORK (AP) — A publisher of a renowned art magazine resigned Wednesday, the same day a former employee filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexually harassing her for years.
The New York Times reports the suit filed in state court in Manhattan accuses Knight Landesman of harassing Amanda Schmitt after she started working at Artforum magazine in 2009.
Landesman groped her repeatedly and sent her harassing messages over several years, even after she left the magazine and told him to stop, Schmitt’s suit said.
The owners of Artforum also were accused in the suit of being aware of his behavior but doing little to stop it. The suit includes accounts from other women, although none of them are plaintiffs.
The magazine’s other publishers issued a statement saying Landesman had “engaged in unacceptable behavior and caused a hostile work environment.”
“We will do everything in our ability to bring our workplace in line with our editorial mission, and we will use this opportunity to transform Artforum into a place of transparency, equity, and with zero tolerance for sexual harassment of any kind,” the statement said.
Landesman, 67, is considered a mover and shaker in the international art scene and is known for his colorful suits.
“I fully recognize that I have tested certain boundaries, which I am working hard to correct,” Landesman told artnet News in an email. “I have never willfully or intentionally harmed anyone. However, I am fully engaged in seeking help to insure that my behavior with both friends and colleagues is above reproach in the future.”
His resignation follows a string of women coming forward recently to talk about being sexually harassed by powerful men in entertainment and media.