Former Bank Hapoalim employee accuses former CEO Zion Kenan of sex abuse

The woman alleges that Kenan got her drunk on Vodka and had sex with her while she was semi-conscious.
Photo credit: Channel 2 News

An employee of Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest bank, claims she was sexually abused by its former CEO and that she was forced to sign a compensation deal which bought her silence.

The incident, according to the woman's allegations, took place about a decade ago during a business trip to Kazakhstan. She alleges that her former boss, Zion Kenan, invited his employees to a night club in the city of Almaty, where he kept pouring Vodka into her glass and pressuring her to drink. He then allegedly took her to his hotel room and had sex with her while she was semi-conscious.

When she opened her eyes after losing consciousness, she says, she found herself naked while Kenan was still touching her. She asked him to stop, and he allegedly told her she would be transferred to a different position and ordered her to put her clothes back on.

According to a report on the Israeli investigative television show Uvda, the bank's incumbent CEO, Arik Pinto, was the one who negotiated the compensation deal with the woman's boyfriend, who was then a senior bank official himself. The woman was given NIS 6 million and the couple signed a secrecy contract.

Bank Hapoalim said in a statement, "There was indeed a negotiation between the employee and the HR department before she filed her complaint, but no claim of sexual harassment was brought up at that point. Pinto knew nothing about such claims and was asked by the bank's external lawyers not to get involved."  

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