Moshe Ivgy
Moshe Ivgy Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Renowned Israeli actor Moshe Ivgy on Sunday evening publicly responded for the first time to recent claims by six women that he sexually harassed them.

Speaking at the end of a show in Tel Aviv, Ivgy told the audience that "the reports in recent days have turned my life upside down."

"My family is going through difficult times. I have respect for every person, respect for all men and women with whom I worked. I repeat that I never willingly tried to hurt anyone. I do not want to respond to this in the media and want to do it in front of the authorized bodies if need be. Thank you all," he added.

The allegations against Ivgy surfaced last week when six women complained that Ivgy sexually harassed them, in most cases during the course of their work with him acting in theaters, TV and feature-length films. Four additional women have since come forward. 

Their testimony points to a pattern where Ivgy would have actresses fired if they resisted his sexual advances on set. 

Earlier on Sunday it was reported that police began collecting evidence against Ivgy and were contacting Ivgy's accusers to determine if there is enough evidence to open criminal proceedings against the actor.

The affair comes on the heels of two high-profile sexual harassment cases against politicians - and has raised questions in Israeli media why women are turning to the press instead of police.

Both Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal and Likud minister Silvan Shalom resigned after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against them on social media and/or news outlets.

Citing a lack of evidence, police eventually decided to close the cases against both Magal and Shalom - but only after both resigned from politics, raising considerable criticism over their "trial by media."