Giorgos Kimoulis

Three Greek theatre and television stars have lost lucrative jobs, the latest on Monday, as a chorus of sex harassment, abuse and bullying allegations grows in a #MeToo awakening in Greece. Giorgos Kimoulis, regarded as one of Greece's finest actors, has been removed from this year's Athens and Epidaurus Festival, the country's premier arts festival said Monday after a flurry of bullying claims from actresses. The festival said there were "public complaints against Mr Kimoulis from colleagues (alleging) insults to their personality."

Also Monday, state TV ERT said it axed an actor without identifying him, but Greek news reports identified him as one of the country's top comedians, Petros Filippidis. Mega TV last week said it had a leaked letter to the Greek actors' guild from three actresses, accusing Filippidis of lewd behavior. The actor was briefly hospitalized last week, after issuing a statement through his lawyer calling on media to refrain from mentioning his name in relation to the story. "You've known me for 35 years," the statement said. "Please respect my wife and child, the truth will not come out through trial by television."

Another prominent thespian, National Theatre artistic director Dimitris Lignadis, on Sunday resigned from his post, citing a "toxic climate of rumours, innuendo and leaks." All three artists deny the accusations. Few of the complaints can be prosecuted as they occurred decades earlier. The Greek actors' guild has said it has received over a thousand complaints from alleged victims in recent days. More than three years after the #MeToo movement surfaced in the United States, the code of silence in Greece was broken by a two-time Olympic sailing medallist, Sofia Bekatorou.

Bekatorou in December said she was 21 when she was subjected to "sexual harassment and abuse" by a senior federation member in his hotel room, shortly after trials for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Her comments have encouraged other women athletes, students, journalists and actresses to step forward. Last week, the leftwing MeRA25 party suspended one of Greece's best-known composers as a member after a singer alleged he tried to have sex with her in his home when she was 14. - AFP