New York (AFP)

Placido Domingo in turn caught up with the #MeToo movement: the famous opera singer had to defend himself on Tuesday from a series of accusations of sexual harassment, pushing the Los Angeles opera to announce an investigation and the orchestra of Philadelphia to cancel a performance.

In an investigation published Tuesday by the Associated Press, nine women - eight singers and a dancer, only one who wanted his name to be published, the others remaining anonymous - claim to have been sexually harassed by the legendary singer of Spanish origin , considered the greatest living star of the lyrics.

"The allegations of these anonymous individuals that sometimes go back 30 years are deeply troubling and, as presented, inaccurate," responded Placido Domingo, 78, who is chief executive of the Los Angeles Opera, in a statement transmitted by his agent.

"It is painful, however, to hear that I was able to trouble or embarrass anyone - even if it was a long time ago and despite my intentions," continued the Spanish-born singer. , long-time married.

"I thought that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcome and accepted People who know me or have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally hurt, offend or embarrass someone" .

- Over 50 years of career -

The tenor turned baritone, who has recorded more than 100 albums and has performed more than 4,000 times, also argued that "the rules and norms we are - and must be - held today are very different from that. that they were in the past, I have the privilege of having had more than 50 years of opera career and will respect the highest standards. "

The reactions were not long in a country where the #MeToo movement has already brought down many power men, including the powerful music director of the Metropolitan Opera, James Levine.

The Los Angeles orchestra announced it would "hire a lawyer to investigate the disturbing allegations" against its star.

"Placido Domingo has been a dynamic creative force in the life of Los Angeles Opera and Los Angeles arts culture for over 30 years, but we are committed to doing everything possible to foster a professional environment where all of our employees and artists also feel comfortable, valued and respected, "added the spokesperson of the institution in a statement.

The Philadelphia Orchestra, where Placido Domingo was scheduled to perform for the opening of the season on September 18, also announced that he had withdrawn his invitation, citing the need to ensure "a respectful environment" for the orchestra, its staff and its staff. public.

The Met of New York, where Placido Domingo was to appear in the next few months, said he would "wait for the results of the Los Angeles investigation" before "making final decisions about Mr. Domingo's future at home. Met ".

In the Associated Press investigation, the nine women accused Placido Domingo of harassing them over a period of three decades, starting in the late 1980s.

One says that he put his hand under his robe, three others that he imposed kisses on them. They also evoke improper gestures, such as a hand on the knee during a lunch.

Seven of the nine women reported that their careers had taken a hit after they had rejected his advances, and that they had never been able to work with him again.

They were all young and early career at the time of the alleged events, according to the US press agency.

Half a dozen other women spoke of advances that made them uncomfortable.

And about 40 other women interviewed by the agency said they witnessed the star's inappropriate behavior.

These allegations against Placido Domingo are in addition to accusations of harassment or sexual assault against many stars of the entertainment world since the beginning of the #MeToo movement, born in the wake of accusations against the producer Harvey Weinstein appeared in October 2017 .

© 2019 AFP