Italian singer Andrea Bocelli is defending embattled opera star Plácido Domingo, saying it is “absurd” that concerts have been canceled in the wake of multiple sexual-harassment allegations.
“I am still appalled at what happened to this incredible artist,” Bocelli said, according to the Associated Press. “I don’t understand this. Tomorrow a lady can just come up and say Andrea Bocelli molested me 10 years ago, and from that day on, no one wants to sing with me anymore; the opera houses won’t call me anymore. This is absurd.”
Bocelli, one of the world’s most famous classical singers, is preparing for a U.S. tour that begins next month in San Francisco — where a Domingo concert was recently canceled — and ends with two shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
He said no one should make a judgement in such matters until the accused person is convicted and sentenced.
“Whenever that happens, then the moral judgment against this person would of course change on my end, but not the artistic judgment, because they are two different things,” he said. “There have been in the past many artists who have dubious morality. One is the moral one, which must be dealt with in courts and here on Earth and by our good Lord up in the skies. Then there is an artistic judgment, which is subjective, and up to each one of us.”
A total of 20 women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against the singer according to reports in the AP.
The women accuse Domingo of unwanted touching, persistent requests for private meetings, late-night phone calls and unexpected attempts to kiss them, according to the article.
A spokesperson for Domingo disputed the allegations to the AP but provided no specifics.
“The ongoing campaign by the AP to denigrate Placido Domingo is not only inaccurate but unethical. These new claims are riddled with inconsistencies and, as with the first story, in many ways, simply incorrect,” spokeswoman Nancy Seltzer said. “Due to an ongoing investigation, we will not comment on specifics, but we strongly dispute the misleading picture that the AP is attempting to paint of Mr. Domingo.