An Argentine actress whose allegation of sexual assault led to the sacking of the head of the country’s Jewish political organisation DAIA claims Ariel Cohen Sabban fondled her and tried to kiss her.
Former DAIA president Cohen Sabban “touched my chest and wanted to give me a kiss”, Esmeralda Mitre alleged, speaking on star-journalist Jorge Lanata’s radio programme Lanata sin Filtro. Mitre had met with the DAIA leadership at their headquarters in downtown Buenos Aires before a subsequent meeting in her home.
“I said to him ‘You have to leave’ and he said ‘No, no, please, please’ and he got nervous. He started to panic”, she said, claiming that Cohen Sabban then said to her: “Don’t worry, I’m not going to f**k you”.
The DAIA (Delegation of Argentine Israelites Associations) requested Cohen Sabann’s resignation on Saturday evening following the airing of the scandal in the media and online.
Mitre met with Cohen Sabban and his colleagues last week to apologise to the DAIA for recent comments in which she questioned the number of Holocaust victims. Initially, the actress refused to give details about the subsequent meeting in her home where the former DAIA chief is alleged to have assaulted her.
‘NOT THAT MANY’
In April, Mitre claimed in an interview with news portal Infobae that local human rights groups had inflated the number of people disappeared during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship for political and financial reasons. She alleged that like the dictatorship, the number of victims of the Holocaust “was not that many”.
Mitre’s comments sparked outrage and she was summoned to speak with the DAIA’s leadership.
“I told them I was sorry and asked for forgiveness, that I was willing to go further than just retract my statements”, she said.
“I was in a position of vulnerability like never before in my life”, she added.
Mitre also alleges that Cohen Sabban wanted her to fund a trip, including travel for the DAIA leadership and a press junket, to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.