Andrew Lipian, a student at the University of Michigan, has filed a lawsuit against opera singer and professor David Daniels, claiming he sexually assaulted him.
According to the lawsuit, Lipian took several classes with Daniels and met with him every week for private voice lessons. Daniels started making sexually suggestive comments during those lessons. He also sent Lipian text messages asking him to masturbate and sent videos of himself masturbating.
On March 24, 2017, Daniels invited Lipian to his apartment to watch “RuPaul’s Drag Race” because he wanted to talk to him about his career. Lipian drank several bourbon beverages that evening and later said that he was tired and needed to get some sleep for a performance the following day. That’s when Daniels gave him what he said was a Tylenol PM but was actually the sleep medication Ambien. Daniels then allegedly pulled Lipians’ clothes off and forced himself on Lipian.
The lawsuit claims that Daniels told Lipian in May 2018 that someone sent an anonymous letter to the school stating that Daniels had come on sexually to two students. He later let Lipian know that a University administrator said the letter was likely false.
Another faculty member found out about the incident in August 2018 and reported it to the university’s Title IX office. No formal investigation about the sexual assault ever took place.
“Defendant knew that Daniels was a renowned singer and that he had particular power to intimidate, entice, coerce and/or manipulate students. In fact, the University ignored warnings about his behavior precisely because he was valuable to it as ‘today’s gold standard among countertenors,’ as described on its website,” the lawsuit says.
This isn’t the first time Daniels has been accused of sexual assault. In May 2010, Daniels and his partner were accused of raping a singer after a performance at the Houston Grand Opera. The accusation was made this past August and police are currently investigating it. Daniels and his partner have denied the allegations.
Daniels went on leave from the university earlier this year the accusations came forward.