Opera star Placido Domingo apologises to women after sexual harassment claims

'Even though it was not (my) intention, never ever anybody should feel this way,' said the Spanish Opera singer in a statement

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 28, 2019 Spanish tenor Placido Domingo gestures as he performs during his concert in the newly inaugurated sports and culture centre 'St Gellert Forum' in Szeged, southern Hungary. Opera star Placido Domingo, who is facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment, on February 25, 2020 apologised for "the hurt" caused to his accusers, saying he accepted "full responsibility" for his actions. / AFP / Attila KISBENEDEK
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Opera singer Placido Domingo apologised to the women who accused him of sexual harassment for the "pain" he caused them and accepted "full responsibility" in a statement sent on Tuesday to Spanish news agency Europa Press.

The singer, whose career spans more than five decades, said he now understood that some of the women who accused him were afraid to express how they felt "as they worried how that could affect their career", Europa Press quoted the statement as saying.

He said he had analysed the accusations since they first emerged in August and has "grown up with the experience".

"Even though it was not (my) intention, never ever anybody should feel this way," Domingo added, according to Europa Press.

A representative of Domingo didn't return an email seeking comment.

The Spanish singer dropped out of a performance at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in November following the accusations of sexual misconduct levelled by several women in the classical music world.

More than three dozen singers, dancers, musicians, voice teachers and backstage staff have said they witnessed or experienced inappropriate behaviour by Domingo towards women at different opera houses over the last three decades.

Domingo, a tenor who turned to the baritone repertoire as he aged, had originally disputed the accusations against him.

Several opera houses around the world cancelled appearances by Domingo and the Los Angeles Opera, where he is general director, said it would start an independent investigation into the accusations.

As the "Three Tenors", Domingo, Jose Carreras and the late Luciano Pavarotti helped bring opera to a wider audience with concerts around the world in the 1990s.