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Bolshoi ballet's Sergei Filin testifies about horrific acid attack

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Nov 06, 2013 | 5:02pm EST

Bolshoi ballet boss Sergei Filin broke down in a Russian court on Wednesday (06Nov13) as he described the "terrifying pain" he suffered in January (13) when acid was thrown in his face in a brutal attack. The artistic director of the famed Bolshoi Theatre testified about the scary incident for the first time on Wednesday (06Nov13) as part of the criminal trial of Pavel Dmitrichenko, who is accused of masterminding the assault which left Filin partially blind. Growing emotional, he told the Moscow court, "I immediately felt very strong pain. My eyes dimmed. I have never felt such pain in my life. I wouldn't like to speak of how I was falling, crawling in the dirt... "I will not forgive anybody for what happened. That is very important... The life of all the people around me changed. I lost my eyes, I cannot see my children." He went on to discuss the bitter backstage rivalries that erupted within the famed theatre troupe, which allegedly prompted dancer Dmitrichenko to collude with two jobless accomplices, Yuri Zarutsky and Andrei Lipatov, to attack Filin on the streets of Moscow. Filin claimed the main suspect had clashed with him over artistic differences and falsely accused him of showing favouritism to ballerinas he was alleged to have had affairs with, making his life a misery. He said, "Pavel did everything possible to compromise me in any possible way... The main reason (for the attack) was envy. Very, very strong enmity and even hatred. I still cannot believe it." Dmitrichenko, who has maintained his innocence, used the opportunity to apologise for the emotional pain Filin had suffered, but insisted he had nothing to do with the attack. He told Filin, "I want you to know that I asked nobody for what happened to you and I knew nothing of it." The three men each face up to 12 years behind bars if convicted of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm. The trial continues.

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