Plácido Domingo: It wasn’t sexual harassment, they were ‘gallant gestures’

2 December 2019, 11:57 | Updated: 2 December 2019, 12:08

Plácido Domingo calls harassment allegations a “nightmare”
Plácido Domingo calls harassment allegations a “nightmare”. Picture: Getty

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

In Plácido Domingo’s first interview since he was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, the opera singer has said his behaviour was ‘always within the limits of chivalry’.

Plácido Domingo has denied all allegations of sexual harassment against him, in his first interview since the claims were publicised.

Speaking to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, the Madrid-born opera singer said the accusations against him have been “a nightmare”.

He added: “The Spaniards are warm, affectionate and caring. I have been gallant but always within the limits of chivalry, respect and sensitivity. Behaviours, that in the past could have been considered gallant gestures, are today perceived very differently.”

Read more: Andrea Bocelli says it’s ‘absurd’ to shun Plácido Domingo >

In August, eight singers and a dancer accused Domingo of multiple counts of sexual harassment spanning three decades, in a report published by Associated Press.

Domingo called the accusations “deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate”, adding, “People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend or embarrass anyone.”

Domingo called the accusations “deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate”
Domingo called the accusations “deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate”. Picture: Getty

Two weeks later, the opera singer received a standing ovation at Salzburg Festival, in his first performance since the AP report was released.

Eleven more women subsequently came forward, leading Domingo to withdraw from several scheduled performances at the New York Met Opera, and resign as general director of Los Angeles Opera.

Since the accusations were published, there has been controversy around Domingo’s scheduled performances in Europe, many of which – including an appearance at London’s Royal Opera House – are still going ahead.

“I have found relief and a lot of strength on the European stages,” Domingo said in the interview.

He said European audiences have “been especially welcoming to me”, saying, “I want to think that they have behaved as they always have and consistent with how our relationship has been during the last four or five decades.”

In the interview, Domingo also confirmed he has not yet been charged with any crime.