LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon is the latest in a growing host of musicians to face “#metoo” allegations after he was accused of sexually assaulting a record store employee during a publicity event in 1995.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Shereen Hariri alleged that Le Bon groped her during an autograph signing held at a record store in Los Angeles where she worked at the time.
“And while cameras clicked away, I felt Simon Le Bon’s left hand brashly and ridiculously move to my right butt cheek. He started massaging it, then kneading it more firmly, then making his way down my butt to my genitals, then rubbing my labia,” Hariri alleges in her statement first reported by the Free Press.
“I was shocked and completely frozen. I was being assaulted in the midst of that scene. I knew I had a smile still half-pasted on my face, but once the shock started to wear off a bit, my brain went into panic mode. I tried to figure out what to do. Should I dig my nails into some part of his body? Should I run to a phone and call the police? Should I scream? Hit him? Time slowed down and my mind raced through consequences. If I made a scene, I’d be in the press: the Girl Who Accused Simon Le Bon. I’d probably be fired, rejected, ignored, even hated,” she added.
According to the Free Press, Hariri, who is now 47, has not filed a lawsuit and is not seeking money in the incident, but says she wants Le Bon to admit to his alleged actions.
“I decided that time’s up. I’m not holding this secret anymore. I want everyone to know what this man did to me,” the woman said in a statement obtained by the Free Press. ” … I hope he comes clean publicly.”
In a post to Duran Duran’s official Facebook page, Le Bon denied the allegations against him.
“The behaviour that Ms Hariri has accused me of would have been just as inappropriate and unacceptable to me then as it is today. But the allegation is simply untrue. When Ms Hariri first contacted me about her claim months ago, I proposed meeting with her in person so I could set the record straight. Instead, she has decided to pursue this publicly. I have always been one who can admit to my mistakes and apologise for my failings. But I cannot apologise for something I did not do.”
Le Bon’s assistant, Katy Krassner, says she was also present during the record store event and supported Le Bon’s statement.
“I can tell you that what he is being accused of DID NOT happen. Simon was never out of my sight that entire day, as each of the people on the Duran Duran team were ‘assigned’ to a band member to help with the record signing. Apart from anything else, as any fan knows, these kinds of events are a whirlwind of quick handshakes and photo calls which literally last a matter of seconds. The idea that he sat there, right next to his band mates, in front of a bunch of cameras, reaching behind him to sexually assault someone that day is simply ludicrous,” she wrote in a follow-up post.