Topaz admits planning attack on ex-wife

Entertainer says he didn't want to pay alimony; also allegedly plotted assault on producer Yoav Gross.

dudu topaz police car 248 88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
dudu topaz police car 248 88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
Israeli entertainer Dudu Topaz, under arrest for allegedly ordering attacks on two media executives and an actor's agent, admitted to his interrogators on Monday that he also planned an attack on his ex-wife Roni Chen and her husband Haim Zanti. Topaz said that he had asked Daniel Zanko, his neighbor and alleged accomplice, to order the attack in his ex-wife's home and seriously wound her and her husband. The entertainer told police that he didn't want to continue to pay alimony to Chen and couldn't accept the fact that she had moved on and set up a new family. Topaz was questioned Monday evening about the new allegations, which emerged at the weekend during Zanko's interrogation. On Tuesday, Israel Radio said police also suspected that Topaz planned an assault on top television producer Yoav Gross. Topaz was arrested last Sunday on suspicion of ordering a team of goons to assault Shira Margalit, deputy director-general of the Reshet television network, Avi Nir, director-general of the Keshet network, and actor's agent Boaz Ben-Zion, and Channel 2 reported earlier Monday that police had discovered a new "hit-list" compiled by Topaz that included entertainment and culture correspondents who wrote articles about him which weren't to his liking. In addition, police suspect that TV celebrities Erez Tal, Zvika Hadar and Avri Gilad were also on Topaz's "list" of targets. The entertainer was remanded for a further seven days in a hearing at the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on Monday. Judge Dan Mor said that if Topaz were released, he may cause harm to other people, and there was also concern that he may attempt to flee the country. Also Monday, Channel 2 reported that police were searching for two suspects who had been arrested in the past in connection with the Topaz case, but had since been released. Meanwhile, Channel 1 reported that the day before Topaz's apparent suicide attempt last week, police allowed his son to visit him in his Abu Kabir prison cell. Topaz took an insulin overdose in the early hours of Thursday in an apparent attempt to end his life.