STA, 30 January 2019 - Boris Kobal, the author exposed for plagiarising an Italian play, acknowledged what he described as the "stupidest thing" in his life in an apology sent to the STA on Wednesday, citing personal distress as the reason.
"You wonder why at the age of 63 I committed such an unacceptable act? The reason is a deep personal distress I have found myself in," Kobal, a popular comedian, says in the letter.
The response comes after his comedy about a family of professional criminals was exposed as a mere translation of La Prova Generale by Italian playwright Aldo Nicolaj (1920-2004).
The play has been removed from the repertoire of the SLG Celje Theatre and the theatre filed a criminal complaint against Kobal, claiming EUR 13,000 gross back that Kobal was paid for the comedy.
Describing his distress, Kobal says that "in the name of the 'theatre god'" he neglected a great part of his life and "ended up in loneliness and bitterness", succumbing to depression a few years ago.
"Despite professional aid, the depression only deepened over the past few years," Kobal, an actor, director and TV host, says in the letter.
"In this distress I made the stupidest thing in my life: I signed my name under someone else's work. There is no excuse in this respect and I will bear all the consequences," he says.
"I would like to apologize to the Slovenian public for acting in a wrong way. Having translated another author's work and signed my name under it was not right. I also acted wrong by retreating into silence and by failing to explain to the Slovenian public what is going on."
He also expresses remorse for the hurt he had caused to the "excellent" SLG Celje Theatre cast with Jaša Jamnik, the director of his play, at the forefront. "If they can forgive me, I'll be grateful. If not, I'll understand."
Commenting on his late reaction, Kobal says: "The greater the public pressure, the more I shut myself in. The more questions from journalists, the more I sunk into my black hole ... I was shutting my eyes waiting to wake up from a nightmare.
Kobal concludes his letter by saying that he had already returned the full fee he received for the play to SLG Celje Theatre.