A new witness has come forward in the underage sex scandal rocking the Israeli music scene, in which two popular singers are accused of engaging in sexual encounters with underage girls.
Tel Aviv police said Sunday that a young woman has come forward to claim she had sexual relations with one of the accused when she was underage. She was 14 at the time, she said, and had slept with one of the men in exchange for gifts. The minimum age for sexual consent under Israeli law is 16.
The scandal broke last Wednesday when it was revealed by Channel 2 News that the police had been investigating allegations against the two famous entertainers for three months. According to a Sunday report in Ynet, authorities have interviewed at least five girls in connection with the case, although only two, including the latest accuser, have admitted to having sex with one of the famous singers.
Neither of the accused has been arrested or questioned by the police.
A gag order preventing the publication of the singers’ names is expected to be lifted once the police finish collecting evidence in the case.
According to testimony collected by investigators, people close to one of the singers, including the father of one of the singers, would locate girls, often during the singers’ performances, and bring them to rented rooms for evenings that included sexual intercourse, drug use and expensive gifts.
“We have to verify everything” before proceeding further with the case, a police source told Ynet, adding that evidence provided by minors is “not always exact.” The police official insisted “it is clear” that people around the singer engaged in spotting and bringing girls to after-show parties.
According to media reports last week, the singers may have smoked marijuana with at least two girls with whom they had sex — and possibly engaged in group sex with several other underage girls — in an apartment rented for that purpose.
Channel 1 accidentally revealed the singer’s name on the 9 p.m. news on Thursday evening, with the anchor immediately correcting himself. Still, the damage had been done: By late last week, most Israelis had put together the pieces of the puzzle. Yet the gag order on media outlets was still in place on Sunday morning.
Also on Thursday, a leading blogger was arrested for publishing the singer’s name and saw his blog taken down. One of the singers responded to the blogger’s accusation with a threatening post on his private Facebook page, in effect confirming he was one of the accused.
“To all my fans and the people who love me, I am aware of the character assassination that is being done to me. All is well with me, praise God. I’m working, performing and partying. I love you all,” the singer wrote.
On Friday, a top party promoter, said to have been one of those who arranged dalliances with the underage girls, spoke to both Channel 2 and Ynet and denied the allegation that he had procured underage girls for the famous singers. He insisted that one of the singers, his client, was innocent.
The promoter said neither he nor the singer was involved in a sex scandal. “I never procured any underage girls for any singers,” he told Channel 2, warning that the entire case was bound to blow over.
“A great injustice has been done to many people,” he said. Of the accusations, he commented, “It’s just a rumor [spread by] jealous people. These singers are classy, people who have everything in life. They don’t concern themselves with nonsense,” he added.
The promoter said his client had not even been called in for questioning, contending that the allegations were based on malicious rumors and would soon be dismissed by the police.
“I don’t know any [underage] girls,” he told Channel 2. “I don’t know what they’re talking about. I love the good life, and jealous people can’t stand my success,” he said.