Bar Rafaeli who has been shortlisted to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, is set to be charged for tax offenses, perjury and money laundering according to Israeli press.
The Times of Israel and Mako report that supermodel and television presenter Bar Rafaeli is set to be charged with tax offenses, perjury and money laundering. Bar Rafaeli is reported to have falsely stated she was not living in Israel for a two year period and failed to report gifts and celebrity discounts that she received to the Israeli tax authorities.
The case has been ongoing since 2015 when she was first investigated by the Tax Authority. Last year the case grew when the Israeli tax authorities established that she had hidden tens of millions of shekels through tax evasion. Bar at the time had stated she was living with her then boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio, and appealed the tax bill. The tax authorities stated that her stated reasons for tax exemption were not valid.
Since the news broke there have been calls for Bar Rafaeli to be removed from KAN’s proposed list of hosts for the Eurovision Song Contest. Erez Tal and Bar Refaeli were previously named as hosts of the contest by Ynet. Erez Tal is an actor and television presenter, he provided the Israeli commentary for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, being the first commentator for Israel at the contest since the mid-1980s. Bar Refaeli is a supermodel, actress and presenter. She has taken part in a number of Israeli and international TV series, including launching her own show on German television in 2012.
Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub have been selected by the shows Producers according to Israel Hayom. Lior Sochard who was the other finalist in the auditions for the role, is expected to be involved in another part of the show. Lucy Ayoub is a presenter at KAN, while Assi Azar is the host of Hakokhav Haba.
Tel Aviv will host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in the Expo Tel Aviv (International Convention Centre) on May 14, 16 and 18 2019. Tickets for the contest will be available by the end of the year. While Tel Aviv has never hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, the “Israel Calling” Party has been held in the city since 2016. Acts from 25 participating countries took part in this year’s event.