MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti) – The Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director Sergei Filin, who was released from hospital on Monday after nearly being blinded in an acid attack last month, has linked the incident to a pornography scandal in 2011.
Filin, 42, thanked the doctors who treated him on Monday, and said he was feeling well. He was taken to hospital on January 17 with third-degree facial burns and eye injuries after a masked assailant near his home splashed acid over his face.
Speaking in an interview with Rossiya 24 state television released on Monday, Filin said the attack might be connected to a scandal involving his predecessor, who resigned in 2011 after pornographic images apparently showing him were published on the internet.
“I see that the root of the attack stretches back to the story with Gennady Yanin, when his email was hacked and damaging photos surfaced,” Filin told Rossiya 24. In March 2011, an unknown person posted on the internet explicit gay pornographic photos of someone who resembled Yanin. Links to the pictures were sent to some 4,000 emails globally, including major newspapers and TV channels.
“When I came to this post (in 2011), I felt close attention from a certain group, probably hoping to change everything at the theater,” Filin said without elaborating.
In an interview with the BBC released on Sunday, Filin said he knew who was behind the attack, but refused to give any names before the official investigation announces its findings. If found and convicted, the attacker faces up to eight years in prison for inflicting serious injuries.
Filin said he is now planning to go to Germany for a rehabilitation course and will later have eye surgery . "On the right eye for sure, because I can hardly see with it. I am opening my eyes only from time to time, only to identify some objects," Filin told reporters on Monday.