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Dudu’s Dead

Disgraced Israeli TV star found hanged in prison cell

Liel Leibovitz
August 20, 2009

Dudu Topaz, the disgraced Israeli television star who was arrested recently after admitting to orchestrating attacks on entertainment industry honchos he believed had wronged him, hung himself in his prison cell this morning. He was 63. An official investigation has been launched to ascertain how Topaz—whose cell was under constant surveillance since a failed suicide attempt in May—managed to take his own life.

Among Topaz’s alleged list of victims were producers, agents, and fellow entertainers, all of whom, Topaz believed, were actively sabotaging his career. Just last week, an envelope from Topaz—addressed to Tzvika Hadar, the host of Israel’s version of American Idol—was discovered in a Jerusalem post office. Inside was a bullet. “This,” Topaz wrote in an enclosed note, “is the end.”

Liel Leibovitz is editor-at-large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One. He is the editor of Zionism: The Tablet Guide.