Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo apologised for "the hurt" he caused to women who accused him of sexual misconduct as a US opera union investigation found him guilty of abuse of power.
At least 20 women have accused Domingo of forcibly kissing, grabbing or fondling them in incidents dating back to at least the 1980s. They allege the performer — who also composes and conduct — tried to pressure them into relationships by dangling jobs.
The 79-year-old had denied the allegations.
But in a statement sent to Europa Press on Tuesday, Domingo said: "I want them to know that I am truly sorry for the hurt that I caused them. I accept full responsibility for my actions."
"I have taken time over the last several months to reflect on the allegations that various colleagues of mine have made against me.
"I understand now that some women may have feared expressing themselves honestly because of a concern that their careers would be adversely affected if they did so. While that was never my intention, no one should ever be made to feel that way," he added.
The tenor resigned from his position as director of the Los Angeles Opera on October 2 but has continued to perform, especially in Europe. Upcoming performances at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, the Teatro Real de Madrid and the Hamburg Staatsoper are currently maintained.
He said in his statement that he wanted to affect "positive change in the opera industry so that no one else has to have that same experience"
"It is my fervent wish that the result will be a safer place to work for all in the opera industry, and I hope that my example moving forward will encourage others to follow," he concluded.
His apology came just hours before the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) announced that an investigation into the allegations had concluded that "Domingo had, in fact, engaged in inappropriate activity, ranging from flirtation to sexual advances, in and outside of the workplace."
"AGMA’s efforts to protect its members will not end with this investigation. AGMA is calling upon all companies in Opera, Dance, and Choral concert fields to join an industry-wide initiative to positively change the culture," said Leonard Egert, AGMA’s National Executive Director.
"This will ensure that artists feel respected and empowered to address sexual harassment and related issues going forward," he added.