A German-Israeli musician who claimed he had been turned away from a hotel in the eastern German city of Leipzig because he was wearing a Star of David pendant has admitted during a defamation trial against him that he had made up the story.
Proceedings against Gil Ofarim for defamation and false accusations of anti-Semitism were dropped following his surprising confession.
The 41-year-old Ofarim must pay a fine of 10,000 euros ($A16,600), the presiding judge at the Leipzig Regional Court said on Tuesday.
On the sixth day of his trial, the musician admitted that he had not told the truth when he accused the clerk of a Leipzig hotel of anti-Semitism in a video that quickly went viral two years ago.
"The allegations are true," he said in the courtroom, visibly moved.
He said to the hotel manager, who is appearing as a co-plaintiff: "I would like to apologise to you. I am sorry."
The singer, who lives in Germany, shared a video on Instagram in October 2021 claiming that the hotel clerk told him to remove a Star of David necklace before allowing him to check in.
The Leipzig public prosecutor's office, however, ruled that this incident did not take place in the way the musician had described in the video.
After extensive investigations, Ofarim was charged with defamation and false accusations and the case against the hotel employee was dropped.
On Tuesday, Ofarim said in court that he had deleted the video with the accusations.
The hotel manager accepted the apology.
"The chamber is convinced that the defendant's confession today corresponds to the truth," the presiding judge said.
The trial had been scheduled to last 10 days before concluding on December 7.
Ofarim is the son of Israeli singer Abi Ofarim, who performed with his first wife Esther during the 1950s and 1960s.
The couple were known internationally for their renditions of folksongs and chansons.
Germany's leading Jewish group, which initially stood behind the singer, sharply condemned him after his surprise confession.
"For two years, Gil Ofarim accused employees of a Leipzig hotel of anti-Semitism. Now he has confessed that he lied. In doing so, Gil Ofarim has caused great harm to all those who are actually affected by anti-Semitism," Germany's Central Council for Jews in Germany wrote in a statement.
Australian Associated Press