Israel's Keshet Broadcasting President Alex Gilady Steps Aside Amid Sexual Assault Claims

Keshet Broadcasting president Alex Gilady - H 2017
Courtesy of Getty Images

"I'm temporarily stepping aside from my position at Keshet until my innocence is proved," he says.

Israeli media mogul Alex Gilady has stepped aside as president of TV broadcaster Keshet Broadcasting amid accusations of sexual assault and harassment.

Keshet Broadcasting is part of Keshet Media Group, a privately held media company headquartered in Tel Aviv.

Gilady said he was "temporarily stepping aside" until he proves his innocence. "I'm temporarily stepping aside from my position at Keshet until my innocence is proved."

The accusations began last week when Channel 10 TV journalist Oshrat Kotler said Gilady made an "indecent" proposal during a job interview 25 years ago.

Neri Livneh, a columnist with daily newspaper Haaretz then said Gilady exposed himself to her during a 1999 business meeting at his home. Two other women said Gilady had raped them. 

"I am temporarily stepping aside from Keshet to fight to prove my innocence from these unfounded accusations," Gilady said Thursday in a private statement. "I repeat what I said before, these allegations are false and I will use every legal action available against these accusations." 

Keshet chair Drorit Wertheim said: "Effective today, following Alex’s announcement, he will no longer serve as president of Keshet." 

She had said on Monday: "The testimonies by reporters about alleged improper behavior attributed to Alex Gilady are saddening and very painful. Regardless of the details of the cases themselves, the circumstances and the passage of time, I wish to offer support to anyone who feels hurt or humiliated as a result of improper and unacceptable conduct. For anyone who has been a victim of sexual harassment, whether in deed or words, time offers no solace. Together with Keshet’s management I continue to be whole-heartedly committed to ensuring that we provide a secure and protected work environment to anyone who works with us."

Gilady founded Keshet. He is also a former sports executive at NBC and Israel's representative to the International Olympic Committee.

He denied the rape accusations and said he doesn't recall the Kotler incident. But he said Livneh's claim was "mainly correct" and apologized for it.

Georg Szalai in London contributed to this report.