Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon has been publicly accused of sexually assaulting a former record store employee during an autograph session 23 years ago in L.A.
Shereen Hariri, who was only 24 at the time of the assault, has accused Le Bon of grabbing her private parts in the middle of the crowd. Her primary purpose of the allegation on the #MeToo movement was to make Le Bon own up to the assault after the release of notorious Donald Trump's Access Hollywood "grab them by the pussy" tape. She has not filed a lawsuit and insisted that money is not the motivator.
Hariri describes the incident to Detroit Free Press, "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 continued, "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 was so afraid and enraged at the same time because of Le Bon's audacity to pull a stunt like this in public.
It was so smug, so self-assured, so unbelieavably brazen.
Hariri's lawyer, Sarah Prescott has confirmed that there were discussions of a meeting with Le Bon and her client for months now and that they're close to getting a sit down with him. But things changed when Le Bon allegedly refused to take responsibility and eventually decided not to attend the meeting.
He never admitted anything, it was more of, 'I can come and tell you how sorry I am that this happens to women'," Prescott says.
Le Bon published a statement following Hariri's accusation via his Facebook page.
"I have read the statement which Ms. Hariri posted yesterday on Facebook about a record signing 23 years ago at Wherehouse in L.A.
The behavior 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 apologize for my failings. But I cannot apologize for something I did not do."