People: James Levine, Met Opera settle suit; casting director to head film academy; Willie Nelson drops tour

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Levine, Met Opera settle suit

Conductor James Levine's breach of contract and defamation lawsuit against the Metropolitan Opera has been settled.

A lawyer for Levine and the company made the announcement Tuesday but did not disclose terms of the agreement.

The 76-year Levine was the Met's music or artistic director from 1976-2016, then became its music director emeritus. He was fired in March 2018 after the Met said an investigation found evidence of sexual abuse and harassment. Levine sued three days later, seeking at least $5.8 million in damages.

New York Supreme Court Justice Andrea Masley dismissed all but one of the defamation claims in March.

Film academy has new president

Casting director David Rubin has been elected the new president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that bestows the Oscars.

He is the first casting director to ascend to the film academy's presidency. He succeeds cinematographer John Bailey, who has served as the academy's president since August 2017.

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Rubin has more than 100 credits, including films such as "The English Patient," ''Men in Black, "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and the hit HBO series "Big Little Lies."

He assumes the film academy's presidency as the organization continues its efforts to diversify its membership and improve viewership for the Academy Awards, which will be presented Feb. 9 and broadcast on ABC.

Willie Nelson drops tour

Willie Nelson has canceled his tour because of a "breathing problem."

The 86-year-old singer apologized on Twitter late Wednesday, writing "I need to have my doctor check out." Nelson had just finished performing with Alison Krauss in Toledo, Ohio, and he was next scheduled to appear Friday in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Nelson was due to perform at the Farm Aid concert with John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Neil Young and Bonnie Raitt on Sept. 21. His tour was scheduled to end on Nov. 29 in Thackerville, Okla.

Today's birthdays: Comedian David Steinberg is 77. Actor Sam Elliott is 75. Actress Melanie Griffith is 62. Rapper Kurtis Blow is 60. "Today" co-host Hoda Kotb is 55. Actress Gillian Anderson is 51. Actor Eric Bana is 51. Bassist Arion Salazar (Third Eye Blind) is 49. Rapper Mack 10 is 48. Singer Juanes is 47. Actress Rhona Mitra is 44. Actress Anna Kendrick is 34.

                                                                                                         The Associated Press


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