Despite a prostitution scandal, it looks like Robert Kraft is still poised to receive the 2019 Genesis Prize.
On Thursday, the Genesis Prize Foundation sent an email with an update on the ceremony — not to say it was canceled, but to announce that comedian Martin Short will be master of ceremonies at the event in Jerusalem.
In a promotional video, Short makes a few jokes but does not comment on the ongoing Kraft case.
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“I’ve never been to Israel, I’m not Jewish and I’m not a New England Patriots fan. So who better to have as your MC on the night when you honor Robert Kraft?” he says.
The email says that registration for the June 20 ceremony closes on May 15.
Kraft, the 77-year-old Patriots owner and Jewish philanthropist, was charged with soliciting prostitution in February at a spa in Jupiter, Florida. It was part of a law enforcement sweep of several Florida spa and massage parlors.
Kraft has pleaded not guilty.
The latest twist in the story involves a tape that allegedly shows him engaging in a sexual act at the spa. Prosecutors intended to release the tape to the public, but a judge on Wednesday issued a protective order against that until at least April 29. That’s the day a ruling will be issued in regard to two women charged with running and benefiting from the prostitution network.
In January, the Genesis Prize Foundation announced that Kraft had won this year’s award, known as the “Jewish Nobel” and given to Jewish people “who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields.” Last year’s winner, Natalie Portman, also caused controversy by refusing to attend the prize ceremony in Jerusalem in protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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