Artist News

Placido Domingo says that his “gestures of gallantry” have been misconstrued as harassment

By | Published on Monday 2 December 2019

Placido Domingo

Placido Domingo has again denied the accusations of sexual harassment that have been made against him, arguing that the claims made by various women are the result of a change in how people view “gestures of gallantry”.

Ahead of performances in Spain next month, the opera singer has told Spanish newspaper El Confidencial that behaviours that, in the past, “could have been considered … gestures of gallantry, today they are perceived very differently”. He adds: “Those who know me and have treated me well know that I have never behaved in the aggressive, harassing and vulgar way they have painted me”.

Eighteen women, including other performers, made claims of harassment against Domingo via two Associated Press articles earlier this year, with others subsequently coming forward.

The accusations span three decades. Among them, it is claimed that Domingo made unwanted advances, including kissing and groping. Some women have also said that their careers were harmed when they rejected him, due to his powerful position at institutions such as the New York’s Metropolitan Opera, from which he has now resigned.

“I have never had ambition for power nor abused this position”, he says in the new interview. “Neither by my way of being, nor by the operating system of the American theatres in which I held relevant positions. I have never retaliated, truncated or harmed anyone’s career. I have never promised anything in exchange for favours. What does appear is my commitment to young singers and my responsibility in launching so many careers”.

Previously Domingo’s spokesperson has accused the Associated Press of having a vendetta against him. Echoing those claims to an extent in the new interview, he continues: “It is a moral process. The credibility granted to the accusations is automatic. This is a media cause, of public opinion. And I felt judged, sentenced and convicted in advance. But I have not been charged with any crime”.

Although Domingo has largely withdrawn from the US opera industry, he continues to perform elsewhere in the world, including many countries in Europe. He says in the El Confidential interview that he currently has a performance schedule taking him into 2021 which he intends to keep.