Culture

Plácido Domingo sexual harassment allegations investigated

Plácido Domingo sexual harassment allegations investigated”

Some of the women told the AP that Domingo used his power at the LA company and elsewhere to try to pressure them into sexual relationships, with several saying that he dangled jobs and then sometimes punished them professionally if they refused his advances.

Plácido Domingo on Tuesday afternoon, and the LA Opera promised an outside investigation, after the Associated Press published a report in which several women accuse him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

Almost three dozen people who worked with Domingo also told the outlet they witnessed "inappropriate sexually tinged behavior" by the musician.

A former opera administrator said he had been aware for years that Domingo was "constantly chasing" one of the women who alleged sexual harassment.

Domingo has denied the accusations, but noted: "Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable". People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone.

"However, I recognise that the rules and standards by which we are - and should be - measured against today are very different than they were in the past. [I] will hold myself to the highest standards". 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.

Patricia Wulf, who sang with Domingo at the Washington Opera, was the only one of the nine to go on the record, and said she was uncomfortable by his asking her each and every night if she had to go home after work, and by his trying to enter her dressing room uninvited. The others requested anonymity, saying they either still work in the business and feared reprisals or anxious they might be publicly humiliated and even harassed.

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In canceling its invitation for Domingo to sing at its September 18 opening gala, the Philadelphia Orchestra issued a statement saying: "We are committed to providing a safe, supportive, respectful, and appropriate environment for the orchestra and staff, for collaborating artists and composers, and for our audiences and communities".

One singer, who was 27 at the time, said she felt panicked and trapped.

In addition to the nine complainants, a half-dozen other women told AP that suggestive overtures by Domingo made them uncomfortable, including one singer who said he repeatedly asked her out on dates after hiring her to sing a series of concerts with him in the 1990s.

Domingo served as artistic director for the Washington Opera from 1996-2003 and as the company's general director from 2003 to 2011, during which time its name was changed to Washington National Opera. They engaged in "heavy petting" and "groping", she said.

According to the AP, Domingo exhibited very similar patterns of behavior with the women, including calling them persistently (often late at night), expressing interest in their burgeoning careers, and urging them to meet him at his apartment or hotel room "under the guise of offering professional advice".

"I'm stepping forward because I hope that it can help other women come forward, or be strong enough to say no", she said. Domingo appears to be the latest high-profile public figure to become embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal after similar accusations were leveled against actors, athletes and politicians in the U.S. and beyond in the wake of the #MeToo movement. "I felt like I was being hunted by him".

Dozens more in the opera business also told the AP that they witnessed Domingo being sexually inappropriate towards younger women, dating back to the 1980s.



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