World-famous opera star Placido Domingo has been accused of sexually harassing other opera singers, a claim he denies.
A number of female opera singers and other performers have alleged Domingo tried to pressure them into sexual relationships and sometimes punished them when they rejected him.
Other women said Domingo’s behaviour made them uncomfortable or that they saw him pursuing younger women with impunity.
One woman said Domingo had put his hand down her skirt and three others said he forced wet kisses on their lips.
One said: “A business lunch is not strange.
“Somebody trying to hold your hand during a business lunch is strange, or putting their hand on your knee is a little strange.
“He was always touching you in some way, and always kissing you.”
Seven of the accusers said their careers faded after they rejected Domingo. Some claim he had promised them roles that never materialised.
The claims surfaced in an investigation by the Associated Press.
Domingo, 78, said in a statement that the claims were as old as 30 years and were “deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate”.
He added: “Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable – no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions.
“I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual. People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone.
“However, I recognise that the rules and standards by which we are – and should be – measured against today are very different than they were in the past. I am blessed and privileged to have had a more than 50-year career in opera and will hold myself to the highest standards.”
Domingo, with more than 4,000 performances in his career, is regarded as one of the world’s greatest opera singers.
Even at 78, his concerts still sell out around the world.
He is also a conductor and director of the Los Angeles Opera and has won multiple Grammy awards.