Israel's Tourism Minister Misezhnikov Denies Guards' Claims He Gets Drunk After Hours

Former bodyguards made claims on Channel 2 television.

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov has denied claims by his security guards that he has a penchant for getting drunk in clubs after work. The guards made these allegations on Channel 2 television.

"The truth is that I'm 43 years old, so after work I allow myself to go out late at night with friends and raise a glass. Or, heaven forbid, on weekends I go out to dance," Misezhnikov said yesterday. "I've never gotten drunk in public. I've never been dragged [out of a club] - not by a guard and not by a friend. And I've never visited a strip club. That's the truth."

According to Misezhnikov, "These guards were dismissed ... due to their inappropriate, even violent, behavior. They are trying to extort money by any means possible, including the use of fabrications and character assassination. One of the guards made complaints to the Civil Service Commission, which found that they were utterly unfounded."

Improvement of Government Services Minister Michael Eitan backed up Misezhnikov. "The link between security personnel and the media is dangerous," he said. "It undermines security work and harms the pillars of a democratic society .... This connection expresses itself in claims about personal behavior ... but there is a danger that the phenomenon will worsen and information will be conveyed to the media about political issues and other topics."