Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo has said the string of sexual harassment allegations put forward by more than 20 women against him are “offensive” and “do not make sense” adding “I just want to stop talking about it”.
The opera singer talked to Spanish newspaper El Pais after he sang in the Palau de les Arts in the city of Valencia in the autonomous community with the same name in the eastern coast of Spain.
The opera singer has appealed to the public to stop talking about the allegations and said they are “offensive” to him.
Domingo told El Pais: “It has been offensive. The accusations they made about me do not make sense. I just want to stop talking about it.”
Domingo also added: “It is very easy today to pick on someone you do not like and spread false stories, (someone says) ‘if you have anything against this person, let us know’. And a plot is started.”
The Spanish opera singer resigned at the beginning of last October from his position as General Director of the Los Angeles Opera which he had occupied since 2003.
Domingo told El Pais: “There is an investigation in the Los Angeles Opera which is taking the testimonies of a lot of people I have worked with. I want to respect the course of this investigation.”
When he was asked if he would file a complaint about slandering his public image he answered: “Against the media, you are likely to lose and regarding the women who accused me I will not take retaliation against anybody.”
During the interview, the opera icon also expressed his opinion on women and sexual harassment scandals in the arts industry, saying: “I have never attacked or harassed a woman. It is not how I was educated or how I am.
“You could say compliments such as ‘what a beautiful costume’ or ‘you look good today’ 30 years ago, even two years ago but you cannot say anything to a woman now. It is not like that here (Spain) but it is like that specifically in these groups where the accusations come from.”
The opera singer finished the interview saying he might sing again in the United States.
He said: “If the opportunity comes, of course, I will do it. Not everything is about Los Angeles or The Metropolitan (New York).
“I have not chosen other theatres so that I can sing more in Europe, Asia and South-America. I have contracts till the seasons in 2021-2022.”
The opera singer has appeared on stage for the first time in Spain after the news agency Associated Press (AP) reported that 20 women accused him of sexual harassment last August.
The accusations were first reported by The Associated Press in August and it is reported that he allegedly pressured women into sexual relationships and sometimes allegedly professionally punished those who rebuffed him.
Speaking about one alleged incident, Angela Turner Wilson, 28, told The Associated Press that Domingo slipped his hands under her bra straps and grabbed her bare breast as she was having her makeup done.
She said: “It hurt, It was not gentle. He groped me hard.”
She said Domingo then turned and walked away, leaving her humiliated.
In all, more than 20 women have accused the singer of sexual harassment.
Opera singers Angela Turner Wilson and Patricia Wulf were two of the 20 women who accepted to have their names made public about Domingo’s alleged harassment.
Wulf’s attorney Debra Katz said in a public statement that his resignation in Los Angeles was “an important and welcome step in the effort to end sexual misconduct by powerful men in the opera industry.”
Fellow opera singer Ainhoa Arteta came out in defence of Placido Domingo. She said: “I do know he is not a harasser, I put my neck on the line for that.”
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