Bolshoi Director to Attackers: I Forgive You

Sergei Filin speaks on Russian TV

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 28, 2013 7:32 PM CST

(Newser) – The Bolshoi Ballet's artistic director said yesterday that he forgives whoever is behind the acid attack that left him hospitalized and injured in both eyes, Reuters reports. Sergei Filin, 42, spoke in a grainy video link with Russian TV from his hospital room. "I am not going to lie. Of course it is very hard for me and very difficult," he said. "A priest came to me, and I told him: 'You know, I forgive everyone, and God will be their judge. Because people are weak.' I forgive all the people who are involved in this."

But he wished his attacker had considered Filin's "three remarkable sons" before splashing acid in his face in Moscow on January 18. "Even if the worst happens, I will continue to look upon this world, and I will continue to do what I do—but it will be through the eyes of my three sons." Filin didn't wear the heavy bandages seen in earlier footage, and kept his eyes half-closed; whether he could see wasn't clear. He has already undergone two operations on each eye. "I promise, you will see me on stage," he said.

The Bolshoi Theater artistic director Sergei Filin, right, speaks to the Bolshoi Theater choreographer Yuri Grigorovich, left, in September of 2011.   (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel, File)
In this video grab provided by RenTV via APTN, artistic director of the Bolshoi ballet Sergei Filin gestures in a hospital in Moscow, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, where he is being treated.   (AP Photo/RenTV)
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