Plácido Domingo had ‘inappropriate conduct’ with multiple women, LA Opera finds
11 March 2020, 10:04 | Updated: 11 March 2020, 11:09
An investigation finds the multiple allegations of sexual harassment made against Spanish opera star Plácido Domingo to be ‘credible’.
Los Angeles Opera’s independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment made against Plácido Domingo found the opera singer engaged in “inappropriate conduct” with women between 1986 and 2019, when he resigned as the opera’s general director.
The investigators, from law firm Gibson Dunn, interviewed 44 people, reviewed around 500,000 documents and concluded that the 10 allegations of misconduct were “credible, in part because of the similarities in their accounts”.
A summary, released by LA Opera on Tuesday, continues: “The level of discomfort reported by the women varied, ranging from some women stating they were not uncomfortable to others who described significant trauma. Some individuals stated that they felt discouraged to report misconduct due to Mr. Domingo’s importance and stature.”
The investigation found no evidence that the opera singer engaged in retaliatory behaviour against any of the women by not casting or hiring them for LA Opera productions. Domingo cooperated with the investigation and “denied all allegations of unwanted contact and maintained that all his interactions were consensual”.
“Gibson Dunn often found him to be sincere in his denials but found some of them to be less credible or lacking in awareness,” the statement said.
The findings come two weeks after a separate investigation, led by the US Union representing opera performers, found “a clear pattern of sexual misconduct” and “abuse of power” by the opera singer.
The investigation found accounts from 27 people, who claimed they were sexually harassed or witnessed inappropriate behaviour by the opera star when he held senior roles at Washington National Opera or LA Opera.
In a statement for the Associated Press, Domingo said: “I have taken time over the last several months to reflect on the allegations that various colleagues of mine have made against me. I respect that these women finally felt comfortable enough to speak out, and I want them to know that I am truly sorry for the hurt that I caused them. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I have grown from this experience.
“I understand now that some women may have feared expressing themselves honestly because of a concern that their careers would be adversely affected if they did so. While that was never my intention, no one should ever be made to feel that way.”
Domingo added that he is “committed to affecting positive change in the opera industry” and hopes his “example moving forward will encourage others to follow”.
In Tuesday’s statement, the LA Opera thanked the women who came forward and said it will make changes to improve its reporting policies.