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Conductor Zubin Mehta admits he has illegitimate son living in the Jewish state

LONDON, Aug. 23 (JTA) — Conductor and musical director Zubin Mehta has admitted that he is the father of an 8-year-old illegitimate Israeli boy. An interviewer for the London Sunday Telegraph this week mentioned rumors that Zubin Mehta had “a smattering of illegitimate children from various affairs” during the course of his 30-year marriage to former actress Nancy Kovack. When pressed on reports of his extramarital children, Mehta admitted: “There is a child in Israel.” Asked if he and the child were close, Mehta replied: “I am getting to be close. I couldn’t communicate with him because I don’t speak Hebrew, but he’s starting to speak English.” While Mehta, 63, does not have any children from his marriage to Kovack, he does have two by his first wife, Canadian Carmen Lasky, who is now married to his younger brother, Zarin. Mehta launched his career as the conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, where he established an international reputation, and, while still in his early 30s, became the youngest musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. He currently lives in Los Angeles and retains a close attachment to Israel, but spends the bulk of his work as the musical director of both the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bavarian State Opera.