Dudu Topaz / Brushes With the Law

The arrest of Dudu Topaz yesterday, on suspicions of involvement in a string of attacks on television executives, is not the popular entertainer's first brush with the law.

In 1995, Maariv television critic Meir Schnitzer received more than NIS 60,000 in a settlement after suing Topaz for assault, after Schnitzer wrote an unflattering review of him. At the time, Topaz said: "I didn't physically harm him, I just removed his glasses and broke them, while telling him, 'You don't understand what you see anyway.'"

Topaz has also been accused of drug and sexual offenses. In 1997, police said Topaz was caught with marijuana and Ecstasy. And in March 2003, he was accused of indecent acts and sexual harassment on two occasions, when a female security guard at Herzliya Studios said he kissed her against her will and a female employee in the building that houses Keshet TV accused him of putting his tongue in her ear. When Topaz went to the police station for questioning, he tried to use a female Israel Radio reporter to demonstrate the kiss; on his way out, he tried to do the same with a Haaretz reporter. Both cases were closed due to insufficient evidence.

Topaz has also stirred up controversy by attacking the 2003 campaign by single mothers against budget cuts. In a radio interview, he called for a "sharp and cruel" end to support for "entire groups that live at the state's expense."