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Placido Domingo blames sexual harassment accusations on cultural differences

Placido Domingo said that there are places now where "one can't say anything to a woman". Picture by Bernat Armangue/AP
Ciaran Giles, Associated Press

Placido Domingo has sought to blame allegations of sexual harassment against him on cultural differences between countries, adding that there are places nowadays where "one can't say anything to a woman".

In an interview published in Spanish leading daily El Pais, the Madrid-born tenor said "here [in Spain] it's not like that but in other places, and specifically in those groups from where the accusations come, it is".

Allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour have been made by more than 20 women in the US.

Some claimed that rejecting Domingo's advances hurt their musical careers.

The 78-year-old denies the allegations.

While most of his US dates were cancelled in the wake of the reports and an investigation is under way at the Los Angeles Opera, European venues have supported Domingo and he has been greeted with ovations.

Some opera managers, notably at the Salzburg Festival and the Vienna State Opera, countered the reports by saying that the opera star had always behaved well in their venues.

Domingo told El Pais he believed harassment "should be punished in every moment and in all periods" but felt rules and standards had changed.

"What I meant, as a Spaniard, is that the use of the compliment, for example 'what a nice suit you have, how well you look', that was something you could say 30 years ago, even two years ago."

Domingo initially responded to the allegations, saying they were "in many ways, simply incorrect" and that at the time he believed his "interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual".

He told El Pais that he wanted to continue singing and did not rule out performing again in the US.

"If the opportunity arises, of course," he said.

There are some offers. Not everywhere is [like] the Los Angeles or the Metropolitan [in New York]."

Domingo ruled out taking legal action in the matter.

"You know it's useless. Against a media outlet you have everything to lose, and as regards the accusers, I don't intend taking reprisals against anybody," he said.

"As I have said, I have not been accused of any crime and I don't intend taking a case against anybody."

Domingo has given several interviews recently in Europe.

"The accusations they make against me make no sense," he said.

"What I want is to stop talking about all of this."

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