Plácido Domingo says 'gallant gestures' behind sexual harassment claims

Tenor says Spaniards are ‘warm, affectionate and loving’ in interview with Spanish online newspaper

The opera star Plácido Domingo has said accusations against him of sexual harassment in the US have been “a nightmare”.

Speaking to the Spanish online newspaper El Confidencial, he denied the allegations, saying Spaniards are naturally “warm, affectionate and loving”, adding that he has always been “gallant”, but saying “gallant gestures are viewed differently nowadays”.

It was the 78-year-old tenor’s first interview since the Associated Press reported allegations of sexual harassment made by multiple women against him.

In August, eight singers and a dancer told the AP they had been sexually harassed by Domingo in alleged incidents that spanned three decades from the late 1980s.

In response, Domingo said: “The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as 30 years are deeply troubling, and as presented, 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. 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.”

Later that month, he received a standing ovation at the Salzburg festival, his first performance after the accusations were made public.

Eleven more women subsequently came forward. Domingo withdrew from scheduled performances at the Met in New York and resigned as general director of Los Angeles Opera, which he founded.

Domingo told El Confidencial he felt strong and intended to continue performing at least until the end of engagements through 2021.

He said the accusations against him were given “automatic” credibility and said he felt “prematurely judged, sentenced and convicted”.

Domingo also said he has not been formally accused of any crime.

Guardian staff and agencies

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