AP: US opera union probe finds Plácido Domingo abused energy
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AP: US opera union probe finds Plácido Domingo abused energy

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An investigation into legendary singer Plácido Domingo by the U.S. union representing opera performers found extra than two dozen folks that said they were sexually harassed or witnessed inappropriate behavior by the superstar when he held senior management positions at Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera, according to folks familiar with the findings.

Paunchy Coverage: Placido Domingo

The investigation, performed by lawyers employed by the American Guild of Musical Artists, concluded that the accounts from 27 folks showed a clear pattern of sexual misconduct and abuse of energy by Domingo spanning at least two decades, according to folks who spoke to The Associated Press on situation of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to explain the findings.

In response to a demand for remark from the AP, Domingo issued a statement saying: “I have taken time over the last several months to assume on the allegations that various colleagues of mine have made against me. I appreciate that these females finally felt comfortable ample to speak out, and I want them to know that I am in actuality sorry for the harm that I caused them. I accept stout obligation for my actions, and I have grown from this experience.”

The union’s investigation was the first of two independent inquiries launched after extra than one females accused Domingo of sexual harassment and abusing his energy in two AP stories revealed last year. The 2nd inquiry, tranquil ongoing, was launched by LA Opera, the place Domingo had been general director since 2003 sooner than resigning in October.

According to the oldsters familiar with the contents of the union’s investigation, lawyers from the agency Cozen O’Connor interviewed 55 folks from September till late December. In addition to the 27 who said they skilled or witnessed sexually suggestive behavior on the part of Domingo in the 1990s and 2000s, 12 others said they were aware of the star’s reputation and that it was widespread knowledge at the two companies.

Mirroring AP’s reporting last year, the investigation found that the allegations included unsolicited physical touching that ranged from kisses on the mouth to groping, late-evening phone calls in which Domingo asked females to come to his plight, and inviting females to exit with him socially with such persistence that some felt they were being stalked.

Two of the females told investigators that they had sexual relations with Domingo, saying they felt compelled to submit because of his position of authority and potential to damage their careers, according to the oldsters familiar with the investigation.

In the remainder of his statement to the AP, Domingo said, “I understand now that some females may have feared expressing themselves truthfully because of a situation that their careers may perhaps be adversely affected if they did so. While that was by no means my intention, no person may tranquil ever be made to feel that way.

“I am dedicated to affecting certain change in the opera industry so that no person else has to have that same experience. It is my enthusiastic wish that the stop consequence will be a safer place to work for all in the opera industry, and I hope that my example moving forward will encourage others to discover.”

Union officials would ultimately address the contents of the document, which has no longer been made public. However the union’s national govt director, Leonard Egert, issued a statement to the AP saying, “AGMA salutes the brave folks across all our industries and encourages them to continue speaking out against wrongdoing. We call upon management, and pledge to work collaboratively with them, to get at the foundation causes that have allowed this behavior to happen, and recede unaddressed, in opera, dance, and choral cultures for far too long.”

Egert, other senior union leaders and the investigators briefed the union’s Board of Governors on the findings Monday.

The oldsters familiar with the investigation said Domingo, now 79, had reiterated his denials of wrongdoing to investigators and contended that he failed to acquire a position of energy over his colleagues and their careers. They said he told investigators he had engaged in flirtatious behavior but failed to sinister a line into inappropriate touching or behavior love asking colleagues to meet privately in his plight.

They said the investigators characterized Domingo’s habits as inappropriate workplace behavior below the norms of the 1990s or by today’s #MeToo standards.

The investigators said that they found the glimpse accounts to be credible based on the variety of folks that came forward, the similarities of their stories, corroborations of their accounts, and the widespread theme that Domingo’s behavior and reputation were such widespread knowledge that females at his companies were warned to avoid being in shut contact with him.

The union announced its investigation in September, rapidly after the publication of AP’s stories, saying it failed to belief the industry to police itself. A number of the harassment alleged in AP’s stories took place at LA Opera and at Washington opera, which has repeatedly declined to say if it would investigate the claims. LA Opera has no longer said when or if this may make its findings public.

In the AP stories, extra than 20 females accused Domingo of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior in encounters taking place from the late 1980s to the 2000s. Dozens extra said his behavior was an start secret in the industry.

A variety of U.S. companies canceled Domingo appearances and he withdrew from others below pressure. But no European performances have been affected.

Domingo has been one in all the opera’s most cherished and a hit figures, admired as an ambassador for the art obtain and valued for his enduring talent and ability to attract sellout crowds in an era of diminishing sign sales.

He also was a prolific conductor and powerful administrator, which his accusers told the AP gave him the energy to make or break careers and behave with impunity. In addition to heading Los Angeles Opera, he served as general director at Washington Opera from 2003-2011.

Most of Domingo’s accusers were young and starting their careers at the time. Several told the AP that he dangled job prospects as he tried to pressure them into sexual relationships, sometimes punishing them professionally if they rebuffed him. Soprano Angela Turner Wilson said that after weeks of pursuing her, Domingo forcefully grabbed her bare breast below her gown in a backstage room.

The accusations in the union’s document included extra than one unusual accusers no longer interviewed by the AP, according to the oldsters familiar with its contents.

Investigators said a lot of the oldsters they interviewed requested anonymity in the final document, fearing professional retaliation or personal embarrassment, highlighting the topic the industry faces in trying to convince victims to come forward.

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