The Shmooze

A New Wrinkle in the Sordid Dudu Topaz Case

By Nathan Jeffay

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It is the celebrity tragedy that simply can’t be laid to rest. Back in 2009, Dudu Topaz, the actor, TV personality and one-time star of Israeli entertainment, committed suicide in the Ramle prison cell where he had been held for the preceding three months. He had been charged with — and confessed to — hiring thugs to attack network bosses whom he accused of ditching him in favor of reality television shows.

After the suicide, an angry war of words ensued between Topaz’s family and the media, with the family accusing the media of acting ruthlessly. Now from the prison comes a claim that he had promised a $13,000 inheritance to a cellmate. According to reports the cellmate says that he bought and cooked food for Topaz. He is now suing Topaz’s brother, Mickey Goldenberg, for failing to hand over the money.

Of course, here in Israel nobody cares too much whether or not Topaz promised money to an unnamed prisoner. But new court proceedings that bring to light new facts about Topaz, his case and his family relationships — and these cases always throw up new discoveries — will send a flutter of excitement through the media. The Shmooze predicts that everybody in Israel will condemn the voyeuristic fascination with a former star who reached rock bottom — but will stay glued to the case nonetheless.


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