After months allegations that he engaged in sexual relations with underage girls, popular singer Eyal Golan issued a statement to the press Tuesday proclaiming his innocence.
“The last three months have been very difficult,” he wrote. “I’m aware that the Israeli public is angry and confused over what happened and I apologize for that.”
When the allegations came to light, Golan suspended himself from a reality show, “Rising Star,” where he was a celebrity judge.
“I’ve been put in a very difficult position and it’s unpleasant,” he said. “These have been difficult months for my mother and my children.”
Golan is divorced from Ilanit Levi, a former Miss Israel, and they have two children, Liam and Alin. His production company, Liam Productions, is named for his son.
Golan said he had planned on calling a press conference, but that the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office hadn’t yet completed its work regarding his case.
In November an “unnamed popular singer,” who turned out to be Golan, was interrogated by the police for engaging in sexual encounters with underage girls. According to the police, people close to the singer would bring the girls to rented rooms for evenings that included sexual intercourse, drug use and expensive gifts.
It wasn’t Golan’s first brush with the law. The Tax Authority set its sights on the singer in October, charging him with not declaring or paying income tax on NIS 2.6 million (about $736,000). Golan, one of Israel’s biggest stars, makes about NIS 14 million per year (about $3.9 million), according to Yedioth Ahronoth.
That case has not been settled, but Golan is proclaiming his innocence with regards to the underage girls.
“I want to clarify that I never did anything that would dishonor a woman or man in the State of Israel,” wrote Golan in his statement. He added that the one woman who testified against him lied, and it was her lie that was leaked to the public and created this situation.
He did admit to one time that his father came to an apartment with two women, and when he suspected that one of them was too young, he immediately left the apartment.
“To my dismay, there have been a number of people around me who used my name in vain to do things that are improper, and which go against my credo,” wrote Golan. “When you are at the peak, you don’t look right or left and you focus on the doing, in loving the audience and maybe sometimes getting dazzled. But a situation unfolded in which people I trusted were doing things that I wouldn’t approve of and I’m grieving that with all my heart.”
Golan said he’d fired those staff members who acted inappropriately and is planning on focusing on his music for now.
“I feel that I have been hung in the town square on a long rope and everyone who passes by is throwing a brick at me,” he said.