Mitchell Taylor Button was accused of abuse, and his wife, Dusty Button, a dancer with a large Instagram following, was accused of participating in some of it but not named as a defendant.
A pair of professional dancers filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing a former dance teacher of sexually assaulting and abusing them, and accusing his wife — an internet-famous ballerina who has danced with the Boston Ballet — of participating in some of that abuse.
The former teacher — who has been known by several names, but is called Mitchell Taylor Button in the suit — is married to Dusty Button, who was a principal dancer with the Boston Ballet and who has amassed more than 300,000 Instagram followers and several corporate sponsorships with viral photos and videos of her dancing.
The suit, filed in United States District Court in Nevada, claims that “the Buttons abuse their positions of power and prestige in the dance community to garner the loyalty and trust of young dancers” and said that the couple would “exploit those relationships to coerce sexual acts by means of force and fraud.” Mr. Button is a defendant in the lawsuit; Ms. Button is not, but is described as a “non-party co-conspirator.” A lawyer for the couple said that they denied the charges.
The suit asserts that one of the plaintiffs, Sage Humphries, now a dancer with the Boston Ballet, met the Buttons in 2016 when she was in the company’s apprenticeship program and that the couple sexually and verbally abused her, forced her to live with them and isolated her from her family.