Big Apple Circus clown resigns over sexual misconduct
NEW YORK (AP) — A beloved circus performer known as Grandma the clown has resigned from the Big Apple Circus after accusations he pressured a 16-year-old aerialist to pose for pornographic photos.
The circus's chairman, Neil Kahanovitz, told The New York Times on Tuesday that Barry Lubin, 65, offered his resignation Friday, shortly after the woman came forward.
The allegations "are true. What I did was wrong, and I take full responsibility for my actions," said Lubin, who apologized in a statement released by his lawyer.
The accuser, Zoey Dunne, said she first met Lubin while she was touring with Circus Smirkus, a youth circus troupe based in Greensboro, Vt. In 2004, Lubin contacted her and offered her work with Big Apple's mini-troupe. Then he persuaded her to model, ostensibly for his personal photography business.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual misconduct unless they decide to tell their stories publicly.
Dunne, who is now pursuing a doctorate in school psychology, initially told the circus about Lubin in 2012. He had recently left Big Apple, and a circus official told her they recognized the seriousness of her allegations, but that there was little they could do.
The circus changed hands in early 2017.