Opera legend Plácido Domingo denies claims of sexual harassment

Lawrence Kim
August 14, 2019

Nine women have accused Plácido Domingo, one of the leading figures in the world of opera, of sexual harassment.

Nearly all of the women's accounts followed a similar pattern that saw the singer, married since 1962, begin their working relationship by telling them he wanted to help advance their careers thanks to his impressive network of connections. She said that he undressed her, undressed himself, and that they had a session of "heavy petting" and "groping".

The report, which was broken by the Associated Press, alleges that eight singers and a dancer said that they had been harassed by Domingo, who is the director of the Los Angeles Opera, including one who said that he "stuck his hand down her skirt" and others who claim that he "forced wet kisses on their lips".

As well as the nine women who have come forward, apparently "half a dozen others" have also come forward to suggest Domingo's behaviour, including repeatedly asking them to go on a date, has made them uncomfortable at one time or another.

The AP has spoken to a range of music industry professionals, including other singers, dancers, orchestral musicians, backstage staff, voice teachers and an administrator about the accusations, and those mentioned have apparently witnessed sexual behaviour, aimed especially at younger women.

Domingo, 78, remains one of opera's biggest stars, commanding sell-out audiences around the world.

And on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Orchestra withdrew an invitation for Domingo to perform at its season-opening concert next month.

Domingo did not respond to detailed questions from the AP about specific incidents, but issued a statement saying: "The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as thirty years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate". Two of the women say that they succumbed to his advances, "feeling that they couldn't risk jeopardizing their careers by saying no to the most powerful man in their profession". In accordance with those policies, LA Opera will engage outside counsel to investigate the concerning allegations about Plácido Domingo.

One such woman who worked at the LA Opera told the AP that there was a whisper network about Domingo: "Avoid interaction with him at all costs".

In the spirit of the Me Too era many praised the move by saying it was "high time" he was held accountable and calling the accusations in the report "strong". Several performers told the AP that they were sexually harassed by the star while working for the Washington opera and that his behavior was common knowledge.

He said that after she "said no to Domingo, she had the rug pulled out for several years".

"When I clearly was not going to have sex with him, he just walked me to the elevator and went back to his room".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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