Popular Israeli singer Eyal Golan, who is under investigation for allegedly having sex with underage girls, issued a letter to the media on Tuesday , proclaiming his innocence.
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Golan, along with his father, Danny Biton, and members of the singer’s staff, are suspected of having committed statutory rape and enticing underage girls to use drugs. It is likely that Golan won’t be charged, but his father is expected to be.
In his letter Golan, 42, said his only offense was using “poor judgment,” out of a desire to be close to his father.
Golan said he was prevented from holding a press conference on the affair because of the ongoing investigation and had decided to issue a letter instead in order to explain himself to the public.
In the letter, he noted that plaintiffs who had testified against him were found to have been lying. “Their testimony, which was leaked to the public, created an absurd and confusing situation as if I had done things that should never be done. I wish to clarify that I never committed any act that would dishonor any woman or man in the State of Israel,” he wrote.
“Except for one instance, in which there was an embarrassing situation that I testified about to the police, in which my father came to my home with two women, without my knowledge or consent. One of the women was a young girl who said she was 21 years old. After several minutes I suspected that she was younger. I asked her her age on my own initiative, and she admitted that she was 17 and a half. I left the apartment that very moment so as to avoid compromising her honor.”
Golan wrote that he had fired the staff who had used his name in order to commit improper acts. “Unfortunately, over the years there have been several people around me who, I was amazed to find, used my name falsely for things that appear to be utterly wrong, and this goes against everything I stand for. All my life, I have respected women and men in every way. Unfortunately, I understand that several of the people around me did not act as I did... I regret that from the bottom of my heart. Of course, I dismissed those people immediately.”
After describing his unusual relationship with his father, Golan wrote: “In the near future I will be concentrating on my music, and I hope that the Israeli public will understand that maybe I made an error in judgment in choosing the people close to me, out of my yearning for a good relationship with my father, who abandoned me when I was young, but no more than that. It would seem that any person, even one named Eyal Golan, who is a singer, would want his father close to him, but to my great regret, I was wrong. My biggest disappointment was that I wanted my father!!!”
Golan has complained to police investigators that the case has caused him losses amounting to millions of shekels and cancelled shows, and that his songs are no longer played on the radio.
Orit Sulitzeanu, chairwoman of The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, and television presenters Orly Vilnai and Guy Meroz recently called upon artists not to attend the Eilat Women’s Festival, where Golan is slated to perform. In response, Golan’s attorney, Shai Elias, threatened to sue the association.