Friday, May 13, 2011

Wherein Some Daring Dances Figured



Berlin Court Condemns Editor Of Kleine Journal To A Month In Prison




Insinuated King Leopold Decorated Prima Donna After She Had Participated In “Bacchanalian Feast”


Special Cable To The New York Times

Berlin, November 15—Fraulein Frieda Hempel of the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, won today her suit for criminal libel against the editor of Kleine Journal, a sensational weekly, which insinuated that her decoration of the Leopold Order was conferred upon her by the late King Of The Belgians following her participation in an orgy at Leopold’s Summer Palace at Ostend.

The offending editor was sentenced to imprisonment for one month.

Fraulein Hempel filed suit against the proprietor of the offending newspaper in December 1912, just before sailing to America to appear at the Metropolitan Opera House. The incident narrated in the paper was alleged to have occurred at the Ostend Villa of the Baroness Vaughan, the morganatic wife of the late King Leopold.

Fraulein Hempel’s testimony was given by deposition, as she was not able to appear personally on account of her engagements to sing in America. She denied that after the King had departed from the soiree ”champagne corks popped like shots from a rapid-fire gun” and that the affair became “a Bacchanalian feast” wherein some daring dances figured. She said that she went to the Villa to sing just as if it had been a regular professional engagement and that she went home as soon as the concert was over.

The publication of the insinuations about her, she maintained in her complaint, would tend to injure her in the eyes of Americans.


Published November 16, 1913
The New York Times

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