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Israeli media boss steps aside following rape allegations

Alex Gilady, who is also Israel's IOC member, is accused of sexual misconduct by four women

    Alex Gilady
    Alex Gilady Getty Images

    The president of Israeli private television network Keshet has stood down after four women made allegations of sexual misconduct against him, including rape.

    Alex Gilady, 74, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and a former vice president at NBC Sports, said he intended to fight the accusations in court.

    “I'm temporarily standing aside from Keshet in order to fight to prove my innocence of these unfounded allegations,” Mr Gilady said through a spokesperson.

    “I repeat and emphasize that these allegations are incorrect, and I will employ the necessary legal measures against these unfounded accusations.”

    The allegation emerged last month as the #MeToo social media campaign gained momentum in Israel in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

    The first accusation came from media personality Oshrat Kotler, who described what she termed “an indecent proposal” made by Mr Gilady 20 years ago. She said he invited her dinner and told her to keep the evening free afterwards, but when she refused, he told her: “How do you think people get famous in Hollywood?”

    It prompted Israeli journalist Neri Livneh to describe how Mr Gilady harassed her by allegedly exposing his genitals in her presence in his home. 

    Finally, earlier this week, two further women – who remain unnamed – came forward with allegations of rape.

    A news programme on Channel 10 television featured the account of one woman who said she was attacked by Mr Gilady at his home twenty years ago, while another told Haaretz that Mr Gilady had raped her in the 1970s.

    Mr Gilady denies both stories.

    An IOC spokesman said the committee was waiting to see if Mr Gilady cleared his name.

    “He has made a major contribution to Israeli sport and the Olympic movement,” the spokesman said.

    “We were astonished to hear the allegations against him and we hope that there was no impropriety in his conduct on personal matters.”

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