Opera singer blames husband’s suicide on 'Me Too' movement
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A world-renowned Swedish opera singer is speaking out against the "Me Too" movement, saying her husband went into “the deepest depression” and killed himself after accusations of workplace harassment were made against him, The Washington Post reported.

Anne Sofie von Otter said her husband, Benny Fredriksson, killed himself three months after reports in Swedish media that he had tolerated sexual abuse and harassed his own employees while leading Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, an arts and culture center in Stockholm, the Post reported.

Von Otter said the accusations against her husband were false, and criticized the rush to judgement and herd mentality caused by the media and the "Me Too" movement, the Post reported, citing an interview the opera singer had done with Die Zeit, a German weekly newspaper.

“You can break a person,” she told Die Zeit, according to the Post. 


The Post reported that Aftonbladet, a tabloid, had cited dozens of anonymous sources to detail staff morale at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern under Fredriksson’s tenure.

One employee said they were forced to choose between having an abortion and giving up a role by the theater director, the Post reported, citing Aftonbladet's coverage.

Another Swedish tabloid had reported an actor describing Fredriksson as “little Hitler,” the Post reported.

Von Otter told Die Zeit that she “read with interest all about Harvey Weinstein" but also said the press would exaggerate claims of lewd conduct and use "pornographic undertones" to attract readers. 

Von Otter said her husband resigned after the accusations were carried by Swedish media, but still faced post-traumatic stress disorder following the shock of the allegations. Fredriksson killed himself in March while accompanying his wife to Sydney, Australia, as part of her international tour, the Post reported.

“He did not want to take medication, he wanted to be clear,” von Otter told Die Zeit, according to the Post. “But he was ill, he could not think clearly anymore.”

Her husband was not a "womanizer" who ogled women's bodies, von Otter also said, according to the Post.

“There were other things that he was a tough boss, that he could yell sometimes, was impatient, that can be true," she said. "But the anonymous witnesses claimed that the people in the theater hid in fear as soon as he came. That was definitely not the case. On the contrary, he was much appreciated.” 

The signer said she is now speaking out against the mob mentality surrounding the "Me Too" movement so journalists are more responsible in their publishing.

"That, above all, would be a good, a relieving feeling for me, that our grandson, when he later Googles his grandfather, does not come across all those horrible articles," von Otter said. "That would be worth it."