Dancer accused of Bolshoi acid attack tells his side of the story

There were more plot twists today in the acid attack on the Bolshoi ballet's artistic director.

The performer accused of planning the attack told his side of the story in court.

The Bolshoi Theatre is the most glamorous stage in Russia and home to one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world.

Bolshoi dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko is accused of masterminding an acid attack on the ballet's artistic director.
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But behind the scenes, an ugly drama of jealousy and violence is playing out.

Pavel Dmitrichenko is one of the Bolshoi's young stars and has made a name for himself playing villains on stage. But today he was led -- handcuffed -- into a Moscow court and accused of a real-life crime.

"I didn't order anyone to splash Sergei Filin with acid," he said in Russian.

Sergei Filin was the glamorous artistic director of the Bolshoi. But in mid-January, outside his apartment building, a masked man threw a jar of acid in his face. Surgeons are still fighting to save his eyesight.

Bolshoi ballet boss Sergei Filin before he was attacked with acid on Jan. 17.
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Dmitrichenko did admit to police that he had masterminded the attack but said he thought it would be a simple beating.

The acid was the idea of the hit-man Yuri Zarutsky, he said.

Acid thrown in the face of Bolshoi ballet head
Bolshoi director Sergei Filin says he knows who ordered acid attack, heads to Germany for treatment
Russian police arrest three suspects in Bolshoi attack

Irina Noikova runs the Bolshoi's press office and described the acid attack as disgusting. "This particular thing is so -- apart from being just simply horrible -- it's also disgusting that they want to try to destroy the face of one of the most handsome men in the company, surely, one of the greatest artists of this company," she said.

No one knows for sure why Dmitrichenko ordered the attack but backstage speculation puts a woman spurned at the center of the scandal.

Anzhelina Vorontsova is a talented ballerina who was passed over for her dream role as the lead in Swan Lake --passed over by Sergei Filin.

The word is, Filin said she was too fat. The ballerina's boyfriend is Dmitrichenko -- who may have been simply seeking revenge.

  • Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."