Opera singer Placido Domingo has apologised to the women who accused him of sexual harassment, saying he takes full responsibility for his actions.
An independent investigation by the US union representing opera performers into Domingo has found he behaved inappropriately with more than two dozen people.
One of the most lauded and powerful opera stars of the modern era, Domingo said in a statement he had spent several months reflecting on the allegations made by his musical colleagues.
“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,” he said on Tuesday.
More than three dozen singers, dancers, musicians, voice teachers and backstage staff have said they witnessed or experienced inappropriate behaviour by the 79-year-old Spanish singer towards women at different opera houses over the last three decades.
The affair has seen Domingo step down from a number of posts and productions over the past year, despite consistently protesting his innocence.
A former prosecutor was hired to investigate the complaints last September by the American Guild of Musical Artists, the labour union that represents performers and producers in opera houses and concert halls across the United States.
The union, of which Domingo is a member, announced its findings on Tuesday.
“The investigation concluded that Domingo had, in fact, engaged in inappropriate activity, ranging from flirtation to sexual advances, in and outside of the workplace,” the statement said.
“Many of the witnesses expressed fear of retaliation in the industry as their reason for not coming forward sooner.”
Domingo said in his statement he now understood the women’s fear.
“While that was never my intention, no one should ever be made to feel that way,” he said.
“I am committed to effecting positive change in the opera industry so that no one else has to have that same experience.”
The apology comes after Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on Monday was found guilty in a New York trial of sexual assault and third degree rape.
Civil rights lawyer Debra Katz, who represents Patricia Wulf, the first woman to go public about her experiences at the hands of Domingo, released a statement urging the union to expel the opera singer from its ranks.
.@DebraKatzKMB, who represents Patricia Wulf, the first woman to speak on the record about experiencing sexual harassment by Plácido Domingo, Angela Turner Wilson, and other accusers who have come forward, released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/dvrKQcBDRZ
— TIME’S UP (@TIMESUPNOW) February 25, 2020
The union has declined to make public its full report. Its board of governors will take “appropriate action,” the union statement said.
Union spokeswoman Alicia Cook declined to discuss what action it would take regarding Domingo.