Opera singer Placido Domingo has said the only thing he has done wrong in his career has been to stay silent over sexual harassment allegations made against him.
The 79-year-old Spanish star, who has recovered after being hospitalised with coronavirus, had appeared to accept his guilt in February.
He apologised for ‘the hurt’ caused to his accusers and said he accepted ‘full responsibility’ for his actions.
But shortly afterwards he issued a second statement saying his first one had given the wrong impression.
Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo, 79, has said the only thing he has done wrong in his career has been to stay silent over sexual harassment allegations made against him
In it, he insisted: ‘I have never behaved aggressively towards anyone and I have never done anything to obstruct or hurt anyone’s career in any way.’ The tenor was alleged to have forcibly kissed, grabbed and fondled women over a period of more than 30 years.
The claims led to him being blacklisted by several prestigious opera houses, particularly in the US.
Now, he has broken a year-long TV silence, telling Spanish broadcaster TVE on Saturday night: ‘I have changed. Confinement and having suffered Covid has made me recapacitate. The time I spent in isolation, the fragility and solitude, made me see I had to clarify things.
‘I discovered a renewed strength, a will to live, and to carry on. I thank God I am alive and I have been able to sing again, which is everything for me.’
He insisted his initial statement in February was ‘taken out of context’.
When asked if he had thought he had done anything wrong during his career, he said: ‘I think I made a mistake when I stayed silent. That silence has harmed me a lot, not only in my life and my career.’
He apologised for ‘the hurt’ caused to his accusers and said he accepted ‘full responsibility’ for his actions
Quizzed on what he would say to the women who have made allegations against him, he said: ‘If I had realised I had made them uncomfortable in any way I would have said sorry immediately.’
He added: ‘To those who have stopped believing in me, I’d like nothing better than to make them change their opinion if they have felt disappointed by what they’ve read in the press.
‘I’m convinced many people have judged me without knowing me. Those who know me know what I’m like.’
Two investigations were launched after the allegations, one by Los Angeles Opera, a company that Domingo helped found, and another by the American Guild of Musical Artists union. The AGMA probe found the Spanish tenor had ‘engaged in inappropriate activity, ranging from flirtation to sexual advances, in and outside of the workplace’.