Marcelo Gomes in the American Ballet Theatre's production of “The Bright Stream” at the Kennedy Center in 2011. (TRACY A WOODWARD/WASHINGTON POST)

Marcelo Gomes, one of American Ballet Theatre's most popular and distinguished principal dancers, abruptly resigned amid an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct.

A statement about the resignation released Thursday by ABT's board chairman, Andrew F. Barth, gave no specifics other than to say the alleged incident occurred about eight years ago and "does not involve any current or former members of the ABT community, aside from Mr. Gomes, and did not occur in relation to his employment duties with the Company."

A man who answered Gomes's phone Thursday and identified himself as Gomes's boyfriend said that neither he nor Gomes wished to comment.

A spokeswoman for Gomes said: "This is a time of reflection for Marcelo. He is gratified and strengthened by the support he has received from family, friends and colleagues."

Gomes in New York in 2017. (Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

ABT, after learning of the allegation last Saturday, launched an investigation led by the law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel, Barth said. A spokeswoman for the firm referred questions to Kelly Ryan, ABT's public relations director, who declined to comment beyond saying casting "will be updated in the near future."

The Brazilian-born Gomes, 38, known for his personable and gallant stage presence, had recently begun choreographing. He is creating a highly anticipated work for the Washington Ballet's "Three World Premieres" program slated for March. Washington Ballet Artistic Director Julie Kent said Thursday the company "is going to proceed with the program as planned."

"I've known Marcelo since he was 15 years old, and he remains somebody that I love deeply and will always support," said Kent, who danced with Gomes for many years during her career at ABT. "I can testify to his kindness and generosity and his loving character, and his gentleness as a person. He remains one of my dearest friends."

Gomes's name has been removed from upcoming performances listed on ABT's website, including those at the Kennedy Center, where Gomes was billed to dance Jan. 30 and Feb. 3.