Los Angeles Opera said Tuesday it will immediately open a "thorough and independent investigation" into allegations of sexual harassment against the opera star Placido Domingo, the company's general director, the AP reports. In a brief statement Tuesday, the opera company said it has hired Debra Wong Yang from the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to lead the investigation. LA Opera did not respond to questions about how the investigation would be carried out and its expected duration. Yang is a former US attorney and Los Angeles County Superior Court judge who is chair of her firm's Crisis Management Practice Group, according to the firm's website. She has been involved in several high-profile cases and was hired by USC in 2017 to investigate the conduct of a former medical school dean.
The investigation into Domingo's behavior follows an AP report last week detailing multiple accusations against the 78-year-old opera star. Three of the nine women who accused the singer of harassment and abuse of power said the encounters took place while they worked with Domingo at the LA organization. The nine women and dozens of others interviewed said Domingo's behavior was an open secret in the industry and that he pursued younger women with impunity. Domingo did not respond to detailed questions from the AP about specific incidents, but issued a statement saying he believed all the encounters to be consensual and calling the allegations "deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate." (The accusations are already affecting Domingo's career.)