Model says businessman Moshe Hogeg sexually assaulted her, agent silenced her

TV news probe claims Hogeg and model’s agent had business ties at time of incident, when she was 17; entrepreneur says allegations are part of smear and blackmail campaign

Moshe Hogeg, Israeli businessman and Beitar Jerusalem owner, seen at the team's training ground in Jerusalem on June 25, 2019. (Flash90)
Moshe Hogeg, Israeli businessman and at the time Beitar Jerusalem owner, seen at the team's training ground in Jerusalem on June 25, 2019. (Flash90)

A well-known model has said that Moshe Hogeg, a businessman who until recently was the owner of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, sexually assaulted her years ago, when she was 17, Channel 13 news reported Sunday.

The network cited the model saying Hogeg entered her hotel room and tried to force himself on her, but she managed to fend him off.

She told close acquaintances and her agent about the incident at the time, but the agent — who had business dealings with Hogeg — did not report it to her parents or to law enforcement authorities, according to the report. The model did not file a police complaint.

The network said there were business ties between the agent and Hogeg both before and after the alleged incident, and that Hogeg was in contact with other models who worked for the agency. In addition, it said it has evidence that the agent was looking into a significant potential deal with Hogeg at the time of the alleged assault.

Channel 13 said its investigation had yielded many more significant details that were barred from publication after the agent secured a court gag order. The station said that, in the public interest, it intends to file a request for the gag to be removed so that it can broadcast its full investigation.

Hogeg denied the accusation and said the sexual act was consensual, adding that he had taken a lie detector test confirming his version. He said he had other “clear evidence” to support his claims “but for reasons of individual privacy I did not expose them to the media.”

During the lie detector test, which Hogeg paid for himself, he was asked if he had nonconsensual sexual relations with the model or if he had ever forced himself on a woman, Channel 13 reported. Hogeg replied in the negative to both questions and the test showed he was telling the truth.

“The very claim is outrageous since there is nothing more abominable in my eyes than forcing a relationship on a woman,” Hogeg said in his statement.

He added that the timing “isn’t a coincidence” and that in recent years he has been targeted with a “smear campaign” by an individual who recently blackmailed him, demanding $4.5 million or else sexual misconduct allegations would be published. “I refused because I have nothing to hide,” Hogeg said.

In September Hogeg announced that he was selling Beitar Jerusalem, one of Israel’s most famous soccer teams, after three years as owner that saw him confront an anti-Arab fanbase and try — but fail — to sell half of it to an Emirati businessman.

Hogeg, a tech entrepreneur and cryptocurrency trader, bought Beitar in 2018 and said he set out to change its culture.

However, he faced backlash from the notoriously racist anti-Arab factions among the club’s fans after in 2020 he said he was selling a 50 percent stake in the club to Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family. Al Nahyan pledged to pump $90 million into the team in the coming decade.

Then Israel’s soccer association conducted an investigation that found a potential “significant gap” between Al Nahyan’s declared capital and what he owns in reality, business news website The Marker reported in January.

After that, the deal fell through.

In May, Hogeg was one of a group of businesspeople sued by former employees of an Israeli venture capital fund who claim that three of Israel’s largest initial blockchain coin offerings of 2017 and 2018 were outright scams.

The three ICOs, launched by Sirin Labs, Stx Technologies Limited (Stox) and Leadcoin, collectively raised $250 million from investors around the world.

The plaintiffs claim that none of the three companies ever developed a product as they had promised investors. Instead, the plaintiffs allege, the defendants brazenly appropriated investors’ money for their own personal use.

Hogeg has denied the allegations and said the lawsuit is an attempt by disgruntled employees to extort him.

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