Israeli television executive resigns to fight rape, assault accusations

Alex Gilady says he is temporarily stepping down as president of Keshet Media to clear his name of ‘unfounded claims’

A 2009 portrait of Alex Gilady (Abir Sultan/Flash 90)
A 2009 portrait of Alex Gilady (Abir Sultan/Flash 90)

Alex Gilady, president of the Keshet Media group, announced his “temporary” resignation Wednesday amid accusations of rape and inappropriate sexual behavior.

In a statement to Keshet’s board of directors, the head of one of Israel’s largest television production companies said he wants to focus on clearing his name.

“I am moving aside, temporarily, from Keshet, in order to fight to prove my innocence [despite] these unfounded claims,” he wrote. “I repeat and stress that these claims are not correct and I will take the necessary legal steps against these false accusations.”

In addition to leading Keshet, one of the longtime concessionaires in the hugely popular Channel 2, Gilady, a former basketball and soccer player, is Israel’s representative on the International Olympic Committee.

Drorit Vertheim, chair of Keshet’s board of directors, confirmed Gilady’s resignation and said in a statement, “following his announcement, starting from today, Alex Gilady will not serve as president of Keshet,” Hadashot news (formerly Channel 2) reported.

Gilady’s resignation came the day after a woman who formerly worked in media accused the television executive of rape, adding her story to those of two other journalists who complained of inappropriate behavior on Gilady’s part.

Channel 10 reported Tuesday that the woman, who was not identified, said the assault happened 20 years ago when she was a candidate to present a television show that ultimately was never produced. The woman, who claims to have passed a polygraph test about the incident, said that Gilady pushed her to the ground, mentioned the names of two other women journalists and said, “What do you think made those stars, do you think they made it on their own? They all passed through this room.”

According to the complaint, he then raped her.

Journalist Oshrat Kotler speaks at a conference in Jerusalem on March 23, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The rape accusation came on the heels of claims by Haaretz writer Neri Livneh who said Gilady once exposed himself to her during a visit to his villa, and allegations by newscaster Oshrat Kotler who claimed Gilady pursued her for a dinner date at a time when he was offering her to present a television show. When she rejected his sexually-toned advances and pointed out that she was married, Gilady, she said, suggested a private meeting with him was the only way to advance her career.

All of three of the incidents were alleged to have happened around 20 years ago. In a statement Monday, Gilady didn’t deny showing his private parts to Livneh but argued that it happened within the confines of his own home, and therefore was his right to do so. He denied making any indecent proposition to Kotler or even auditioning her for a television show.

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