Placido Domingo, one of the world’s most recognizable and accomplished opera singers, has been accused of sexually inappropriate behavior by women who shared their experiences with the Associated Press.
Nine women told the AP that they were sexually harassed by the long-married, Spanish-born superstar in encounters that took place over three decades beginning in the late 1980s. A half-dozen other women told the AP that suggestive overtures by Domingo made them uncomfortable.
Read on for everything we know about the allegations against Domingo, 78.
Placido Domingo accused of harassment, retaliation
Eight singers and a dancer told the AP that Domingo sexually harassed them, with six additional accusers saying that Domingo’s actions made them uncomfortable. One singer said Domingo repeatedly asked her out on dates after hiring her to sing a series of concerts with him in the 1990s.
“Every time I would walk off stage, he would be in the wings waiting for me,” said singer Patricia Wulf, who performed with Domingo at the Washington Opera. “He would come right up to me, as close as could be, put his face right in my face, lower his voice and say, ‘Patricia, do you have to go home tonight?’ ”
Domingo directs the Washington Opera Orchestra and Chorus during a rehearsal of Verdi's Requiem at Washington's Constitution Hall. (Photo: RICHARD DREW, AP)
Other accusers’ accounts were more graphic, as one woman described how Domingo reached down her skirt, with another three reporting that Domingo gave them unwanted kisses on the lips.
Several women say Domingo hired them or offered to help their careers before relentlessly pursuing them. When they rejected him, they say Domingo would decline to give them additional roles within the opera company he was working with at the time.
Domingo’s behavior was seemingly well-known
Wulf called his behavior a “well-known secret.”
Two of the women said they submitted to Domingo’s advances, fearing that rejecting him would jeopardize their careers. One woman said she had sex with him twice and described how he left her $10, saying, “I don’t want you to feel like a prostitute, but I also don’t want you to have to pay to park.”
Domingo laughs with members of the Rockettes at New York's Radio City Music Hall in 1984. (Photo: Steve Friedman, AP)
Domingo has responded to the allegations
“The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as 30 years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate,” Domingo said in a statement.
“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. I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual. 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 recognize 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 am blessed and privileged to have had a more than 50-year career in opera and will hold myself to the highest standards.”
Spanish tenor Placido Domingo (L) and his wife Marta Ornelas in 2019. (Photo: Javier Lopez, EPA-EFE)
The singer has been married for more than 50 years
Domingo first married at age 16 to Ana Maria Guerra Cue, a short union that produced their son Jose, according to U.K. outlets The Independent and The Times.
He married his second wife, Marta Ornelas, on Aug. 1, 1962 when he was 21. Ornelas was a soprano that Domingo met during conservatory, and after a stint of performing together as a couple, Ornelas retired to take care of their children – Plácido Domingo Jr., now 54, and Alvaro Maurizio, now 51.
The opera world has been largely silent so far
Officials at the Los Angeles Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, two companies with which Domingo is scheduled to perform this season, declined to comment to the New York Times, as did the Washington National Opera.
USA TODAY has reached out to the opera companies for further comment.
Source: Read Full Article