After an investigation found legendary opera singer Plácido Domingo sexually harassed women and abused his power for over two decades, he issued an apology on Tuesday, saying “I accept full responsibility for my actions” and “have taken time over the last several months to reflect on the allegations.”
On Thursday, he appeared to take back the acknowledgment, issuing a new statement apologizing “to any colleague who I have made to feel uncomfortable” and denying the most serious allegations, which included forced kissing and groping, late-night phone calls asking female colleagues to come to his home, stalking and threatening professional consequences to those who refused him.
“I feel I must issue a further statement to correct the false impression generated by my apology in some of the articles reporting on the AGMA investigation,” Domingo wrote in a Facebook post, referring to the American Guild of Musical Artists probe that found he had “engaged in inappropriate activity,” including sexual advances. “My apology was sincere and heartfelt, to any colleague who I have made to feel uncomfortable, or hurt in any manner, by anything I have said or done. As I have said it repeatedly, it was never my intention to hurt or offend anyone.”
But I know what I have not done and I’ll deny it again. I have never behaved aggressively toward anyone, and I have never done anything to obstruct or hurt anyone’s career in any way. On the contrary, I have devoted much of my half century in the world of opera supporting the industry and promoting the career of countless singers.
The AGMA, the union that represents opera performers in the U.S., concluded in a report released on Tuesday that Domingo had sexually harassed women and abused his power “in and outside of the workplace” when he held leadership positions at the Los Angeles Opera and the Washington National Opera.
The probe was prompted by a series of Associated Press articles last year reporting sexual harassment accusations of at least 20 women from the 1980s to the 2000s.
Investigators spoke to 27 people who said they experienced or witnessed Domingo’s misconduct. More than 10 others said they were aware of Domingo’s behavior, which they said was widely known in Los Angeles and Washington.
Domingo responded with what appeared to be contrition.
“I have taken time over the last several months to reflect on the allegations that various colleagues of mine have made against me,” Domingo said Tuesday. “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.”
In his statement on Thursday, Domingo announced he is withdrawing from a set of upcoming performances of La Traviata at the Teatro Real in Madrid, one of Europe’s major opera houses. The opera house confirmed that he would not appear in the performances, originally scheduled for May.
Several other upcoming appearances in Spain have been canceled, AP reported.
Last year, many opera institutions in the U.S. severed ties with Domingo after the allegations surfaced. He still has other scheduled performances in Europe.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.