Opera legend Placido Domingo accused of serial sexual harassment

Placido Domingo holds his two trophies during the Grammy Awards of 1985

Placido Domingo holds his two trophies during the Grammy Awards of 1985

The Los Angeles Opera, where Domingo is general director, issued a statement saying it will investigate the allegations.

Numerous accusers have alleged Spanish-born Domingo used his star power and influence to sexually harass and assault women, dangling the prospect of work in exchange for sex and sometimes professionally punishing women who refused his advances.

Famous tenor Placido Domingo has been disinvited from performing at the Philadelphia Orchestra opening night concert in September, just hours after AP released an explosive report accusing the singer of sexual harassment.

The AP reports that one accuser said Domingo "stuck his hand down her skirt" while others were kissed on the mouth, one in a dressing room, one in a hotel room and another at a lunch meeting.

In addition to the nine women who have outright accused Domingo of harassment, AP writes that "a half-dozen other women" have told the news agency of "suggestive overtures by Domingo". None of the women could offer documentation to back up their accusations, but the AP "independently verified that the women worked where they said they did and that Domingo overlapped with them at those locations".

Domingo called the accusations "deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate" in a statement to AP.

"Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable - no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions", Domingo's statement said. "People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone", it continued. "[I] will hold myself to the highest standards".

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A singer who met Domingo while traveling in Europe in 1992 told the AP he frequently called her with "flirty" messages asking to come to her apartment, and that eventually, the amount of calls left her "frightened".

The accusers who spoke to the AP - all but one of whom requested anonymity - said they had feared speaking out previously would kill their careers due to his vast standing. "I feel very sure it was sexual harassment", she said.

Many women said that colleagues warned them never to be alone with the tenor, not even in an elevator.

Subsequent to MBW's story earlier, an IFPI spokesperson told us: "We have only now become aware of the serious allegations that have been reported in the media against IFPI's Honorary Chairman, Plácido Domingo". 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". She told the AP, "I was totally intimidated and felt like saying no to him would be saying no to God".

She said she regularly would rebuff him, but his pursuit remained relentless.

Domingo served as a top manager of the opera house for 15 years, serving as both artistic director and general director.

Almost three dozen people who worked with Domingo also told the outlet they witnessed "inappropriate sexually tinged behavior" by the musician. Domingo has been married to fellow opera singer Marta Domingo since 1962.

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