Top Israeli TV Exec Steps Down Following New Rape Allegations

Following the accusations, Israel's Keshet President Alex Gilady announces he will temporarily step down to 'prove his innocence'

Alex Gilady
Moti Kimchi

Three women on Tuesday accused television personality Alex Gilady of raping them in the 1970s and ’90s, following accusations in recent days by two journalists that he once made improper sexual advances toward them.

Following the allegations, Gilady announced Wednesday morning in a statement that he will temporarily step aside from his position at Keshet in order to fight the allegations, which he called "unsubstantiated claims."

Gilady, who founded the Israeli television broadcaster Keshet, served as a senior executive of NBC in the United States in the ’80s and ’90s, rising to the post of senior vice president. He also sits on the International Olympics Committee.

"I'm temporarily stepping aside from my position at Keshet until my innocence is proved. I will fight to prove my innocence against these unsubstantiated claims. I reiterate that the allegations are false and I will take the necessary legal steps against these false accusations."

The initial accusations came from Haaretz columnist Neri Livneh and Channel 10 television journalist Oshrat Kotler. Now, three women are making even more serious accusations.

One told Haaretz that Gilady raped her when he was her boss on a television project in the late ’70s. He had asked her to pick up some material from his house, she said, and they drove there together. But as soon as they entered, she related, he attacked her.

“He threw me on the sofa, removed my underwear and simply penetrated [me],” she alleged. “That’s it. Wham, bang, he penetrated and withdrew.” He then drove her back to the office. Today, she said, “I want to die when I think of it.”

Gilady had never tried anything with her before, she said, and at the time she was unaware of him sexually assaulting anyone else. She said she had told her story only to people very close to her and is still unwilling to be named, but wanted everyone to know that Livneh and Kotler weren’t his only victims.

Another woman, N., said that, 20 years ago, she was being considered for her own TV program. Gilady’s secretary asked her to come see him and, despite thinking it odd that her partner on the program wasn’t invited, she agreed.

A driver picked her up, but to her astonishment, she recalled, he took her to Gilady’s house rather than the office. “I felt deep inside that this wasn’t right,” she said. “But it was too late. And I was relatively young.”

She alleges that once inside, Gilady showed her around, then suddenly threw her to the floor, kissed her forcibly and “did what he did.” Afterward, she felt both ashamed and furious, and considered accusing him publicly – but thought nobody would believe her.

The third woman said that in the late ’70s, she was a journalist assigned to cover one of Gilady’s television productions. “He hinted that if I stuck close, he’d give me an exclusive interview,” she said, adding she eventually found herself alone in a room with him.

“It was really quick; it took just minutes” for the incident to be over, she alleged. But in her shame and anger, she never told anyone. “I thought I was stupid,” and didn’t realize how widespread such behavior was, she explained.

Gilady denied all three women’s allegations, saying they constituted libel and that he is planning legal action against “this wave of smears.”