An Israeli journalist on Sunday accused television personality and sportscaster Alex Gilady of making an inappropriate sexual advance on her years ago. The allegations were made after another Israeli journalist accused him of making an improper sexual advance during a job interview.
The claims are by Neri Livneh, a columnist with Haaretz, and Oshrat Kotler, a journalist on Channel 10 television. Gilady founded the television production company Keshet, which now broadcasts on Channel 12, and sits on the International Olympic Committee. He is also known in international broadcast circles: In the 1980s, he was named vice president of NBC Sports in the United States, and was promoted to senior vice president in the 1990s.
Livneh wrote a column that appeared on Haaretz’s Hebrew website on Sunday, in which she said she was contacted by Gilady’s secretary in 1999, who said that Gilady, then a top TV executive, wished to meet with her on the premise that he had an interesting offer for her.
The meeting, Livneh said, was scheduled outside of the office on the pretext that it required discretion. Ultimately, after meeting at a café and then going to dinner at a restaurant, he took her to his home, she wrote.
At his home, according to Livneh’s account, Gilady exposed his penis to her, saying “Talk to it.” Livneh alleged that many people were aware of sexual misconduct of this kind committed by Gilady but preferred not to make it public. She described the incident on a women’s program in 1999 but had been asked not to mention Gilady’s name for legal reasons, Livneh says.
On Thursday, speaking on the main Channel 10 evening news, Kotler alleged that Gilady, then CEO of Keshet, made an "indecent proposition" when she met with him for a job interview.
The interview went well, she said, and a short time later she said she received a call from Gilady asking to have dinner with her and spend the evening together. Kotler said she asked Gilady whether he knew that she was married, and according to her account, he responded: "What has that got to do with it? Don’t you know how they get ahead in television in Hollywood?"
Kotler said the encounter didn’t constitute sexual harassment, calling it instead “an indecent proposition.” However, she regretted not having had that the courage to speak out earlier, she said. “Maybe I would have saved some emotional anguish to several other women who came looking for work on Keshet broadcasts," she added.
On Sunday, Gilady responded for the first time, saying: “Neri’s remarks are mainly correct. I wasn’t in a position with Keshet at the time, and it was not my secretary who called her but me. What adults do in their lives, their private homes, in the context of personal relationships, is their private matter.”
On Kotler's allegations, Gilady said: “In 1994, Keshet didn’t have a morning show, nor did it in 1995 when I left my position as Keshet’s CEO. I didn’t hold an audition for her and I don’t recall that we spoke as she has said. In each of these cases, there was no intention to harm, and if my conduct caused mental anguish, I am deeply sorry.”
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