Netanyahu cools controversy over sex allegations

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Sarah Netanyahu, the controversial wife of the Israeli Prime Minister, has asked an Israeli court to bar publication of audio tapes and letters held by her first husband.

In an Israel TV interview earlier this month, the Prime Minister's wife had accused her first husband, Doron Neuberger, of secretly recording some of their conversations. Mr Neuberger has said he planned to write a book about Mrs Netanyahu.

Mrs Netanyahu has also apologised to Israel's outgoing consul-general in New York for reportedly suggesting that the official had an affair with the former Prime Minister, Shimon Peres.

While taping a TV interview last month, Mrs Netanyahu reportedly lost her temper when asked whether she used her husband's admitted infidelity as leverage. At Mrs Netanyahu's insistence, the angry exchange was edited out of the broadcast.

But newspaper reports quoted her as suggesting infidelity was rife among politicians and many of them had propositioned her. "Where do you think Shimon Peres spends the night when he is in New York?" she reportedly asked the interviewer. That was widely interpreted as a allusion to Collette Avital, Israel's consul-general in the city.

The TV station said that in a letter to Ms Avital, Ms Netanyahu wrote: "As you have no doubt heard, I apologised in the media for any offence which I may have caused when I got angry over provocative questions put to me in the TV studio."

Mrs. Netanyahu has been hounded by unflattering publicity since her husband was elected Prime Minister last year.