Israeli Journalist Accuses ex-PM Olmert of Sexually Harassing Her

'He walked up to me and pushed me against the wall. He whispered into my ear while he stuck his disgusting tongue into my ear,' she said of the former Prime Minister

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Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem December 29, 2015
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem December 29, 2015Credit: Reuters
Yarden Zur
Yarden Zur

An Israeli journalist on Saturday accused former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of sexually harassing her years ago.

"I met him in the TV studio," said Hadas Shtaif, a crime reporter for Army Radio said at an Saturday event in Nes Tziona, "I left the makeup room, and he left the makeup room, and he walked up to me and pushed me against the wall and whispered in my ear." Olmert then allegedly touched her ear "with his disgusting tongue. I pushed him away from me, and haven't looked at him since."

"I have no idea how many years ago this happened...," Shtaif later told Haaretz. "I was a young journalist and I was invited as a guest to a show. It was night, and there were a lot of people there as guests, including Olmert.

"I don't remember what he whispered to me, I only remember the feeling of when him whispering and his tongue on my ear and that it really grossed me out. It was a completely sexual act, repulsive. I pushed him away from me disgusted, and left."

Shtaif said that she didn't intend on sharing the story, but that she was asked "if any famous people have harassed me, and I said yes." Then, she said, she "didn't want to tell, but the crowd started to say... that I should say my piece as well. I knew that they were right. So I said it. I knew that the second I told, I would give others legitimacy."

Shtaif later wrote on her Facebook that two other women had messaged her, saying that they too were sexually harassed by Olmert.

Rachael Risby-Raz, who worked in Olmert's office, wrote on Facebook that "over the 15 years that I've known him, I can confirm that I had never seen even one situation in which he even got close to what can be called 'sexual harassment,' because he's just not that person."

Olmert told Channel 10 News that the event in question never took place.

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