Israel's former "TV ratings king" under arrest

Mon Jun 1, 2009 3:43am EDT
 
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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - He was mad as hell and he wasn't going to take it any more.

So, police said on Monday, an entertainer who used to be Israel's most popular television star hired thugs to beat up two TV network executives and an agent who shot down his pitch for a comeback.

Dudu Topaz, 62, was arrested on Sunday on suspicion that he arranged assaults that left two men and a woman bruised and battered. His lawyer denied the allegations, in a case drawing banner, front-page headlines in Israeli newspapers.

Topaz used to be known as the "TV ratings king" in Israel. He lost his prime time slot five years ago when his network decided to drop his show.

(Writing by Jeffrey Heller; editing by Andrew Roche)