Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon has denied an allegation of sexual assault dating back to 1995.
Shereen Hariri has accused the frontman of groping her at a Los Angeles record store where she worked and Le Bon was signing autographs.
In detail, Hariri claimed he “massaged” her “right butt cheek” before “making his way to [her] genitals” - an experience the 47-year-old said left her “shocked and completely frozen.” She would have been around 24 at the time of the alleged incident.
Le Bon has denied the allegation via Duran Duran's official Facebook page. His statement read: “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.
The Detroit Free Press reports that Hariri came forward with the allegation after Le Bon pulled out of a planned meeting. Her lawyer, Sarah Prescott, said: “We were within a hair’s breadth to do a sit-down with him. At first, he was kind of, ‘Yes, well, maybe later.’ It was just not gonna happen."
Le Bon addressed Prescott's quotes, writing: “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.”
His assistant, Katy Krassner, claims that she was overlooking the singer on the day in question and supports his denial. Underneath the Facebook statement, she wrote: “I can tell you that what he is being accused of DID NOT happen. Simon was never out of my sight that entire day.
“The idea that he sat there, right next to his bandmates, in front of a bunch of cameras, reaching behind him to sexually assault someone that day is simply ludicrous.”
In reference to the recent Time's Up movement, Hariri felt empowered to come forward with her alleged experience and maintained all she wants is an apology.
“I decided that time’s up. I’m not holding this secret any more. I want everyone to know what this man did to me. I hope he comes clean publicly. I hope he makes amends to his wife and daughters.”