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News > Culture

Placido Domingo Sexual Harassment Claims 'Credible': LA Opera

  • The 79-year-old has been accused by multiple women of unwanted verbal and physical contact.

    The 79-year-old has been accused by multiple women of unwanted verbal and physical contact. | Photo: EFE

Published 11 March 2020

Domingo resigned on Oct. 2 as director-general of the Opera, a post he had held since 2003, during the controversy generated by the accusations against him.

After several months of an internal investigation, the Los Angeles Opera concluded on Tuesday that the accusations of sexual harassment against its former general director and Spanish tenor Placido Domingo are credible, according to a document to which EFE had access.

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The law firm hired to conduct an independent investigation, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, “deemed the allegations to be credible, in part because of the similarities in their accounts,” the summary of the findings said.

“The level of discomfort reported by the women varied, ranging from some women stating they were not uncomfortable to others who described significant trauma,” it added.

According to the summary of findings and recommendations, some of the alleged victims stated that they felt “discouraged to report misconduct due to Mr. Domingo’s importance and stature.”

Domingo cooperated with the investigation and voluntarily met for an interview with the Gibson Dunn team.

“He denied all allegations of unwanted contact and maintained that all his interactions were consensual,” the findings said.

The document said the law firm found Domingo to be “sincere in his denials,” but they also found some of them were “less credible or lacking in awareness.”

Two weeks ago, after a period of silence, the tenor said in a statement that he accepted “full responsibility” for his actions, after “several months” of reflection.

“I want them to know that I am truly sorry for the hurt that I caused them,” he said.

In the process of the investigation, the legal team sent letters to current, and former employees of the LA Opera contacted a journalist who published information from sources and created an email address so that anyone could share information.

Gibson Dunn interviewed 44 individuals, including some reporting misconduct, LA Opera management, board members, and Domingo. Also, they collected around 500,000 documents and “reviewed several thousand of them relating to the allegations.”

“Gibson Dunn found several flaws in the manner in which LA Opera implemented its policies, procedures, and communications regarding sexual harassment,” the summary said.

It also found the Opera’s “communications regarding sexual harassment to be insufficiently robust and, at times, lacking. They also determined that LA Opera’s approach to addressing sexual harassment was largely reactive until 2018 when the organization voluntarily implemented a more proactive approach to the issue.”

The Opera has accepted the recommendations from the firm, and is in the process of implementing them, it said.

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