Multiple women have accused legendary opera singer Placido Domingo of sexual harassment, according to The Associated Press.
Update 2:30 p.m. EDT Aug. 13: In a statement obtained by The New York Times, officials with the Los Angeles Opera said they planned to "engage outside counsel to investigate the concerning allegations about Placido Domingo."
The announcement came one day after the AP published a report in which nine women accused Domingo of sexual harassment.
Domingo has been general director of the LA Opera since 2003 and has played "an integral part of LA Opera since its earliest days," according to his profile on the company's website.
One of Domingo's accusers told the AP she worked with him in the mid-2000s and that he put his hand down her skirt after practicing an aria with her at his apartment. She told the AP, "That was when I had to get out of there."
She said after the encounter, she was never again hired on to sing at the LA Opera or with Domingo.
"I've been hard on myself for a while," she told the AP. "Having a coaching session with somebody who offers you coaching is not consenting to sex."
In a statement to the AP, Domingo said the incidents were inaccurate.
"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," he said. "I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual."
Officials with the Philadelphia Orchestra Association said Tuesday that they have withdrawn an invitation to have Domingo appear as part of its opening night concert next month.
"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," association officials said in a statement.
The Philadelphia Orchestra Association has withdrawn its invitation to Plácido Domingo to appear as part of its Opening Night concert on September 18, 2019. pic.twitter.com/5wJXkuhI8t— PhilOrch (@philorch) August 13, 2019
Original report: According to the news agency, at least nine women, including eight singers and one dancer, said the Grammy award-winning star sexually harassed them within the past three decades. Three of the women said Domingo, now 78, kissed them on the lips without their consent, and another claimed that he "stuck his hand down her skirt," the AP reported. Seven of them believed that their careers suffered after they rejected Domingo, who has held managerial roles with various opera companies, according to the report.
Another six women accused Domingo of making "suggestive overtures," the report said. In addition, nearly three dozen people told the news agency that they have witnessed Domingo behaving inappropriately toward women.
In a statement to the AP, Domingo, now general director of the Los Angeles Opera, denied the women's claims.
“The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as 30 years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate," the statement began. “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."
But Domingo added that "rules and standards by which we are – and should be – measured against today are very different than they were in the past."
His statement concluded: "I am blessed and privileged to have had a more than 50-year career in opera and will hold myself to the highest standards.”
– The Associated Press contributed to this report
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