Singer and frontman of the hit ’80s new wave group Duran Duran was accused of sexual assault Wednesday night after a record store employee came forward about the incident that took place 23 years ago.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Shereen Hariri stated the incident took place at The Wherehouse music store in Los Angeles in 1995 during a signing. Hariri, 24 at the time of the incident, stated she felt Le Bon’s hand move “brashedly across 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.”
“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,” she continued in the statement. She went on to state that she told several coworkers and a supervisor about the incident but nothing was ever written up. She quit her job at the store later that year.
Hariri, now 47 and working as a therapist in L.A., says that the #MeToo movement inspired her to come forward. She references Donald Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape that was released in October of 2016 where he speaks of grabbing women by their genitalia.
Hariri states that money is not a motivator and has not filed a lawsuit against the artist. She simply states that she wants an apology from Le Bon.
Le Bon has since spoken out against the allegations. In a statement posted to the band’s official Facebook page, Le Bon writes,
“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.”
He continues to comment that he tried to sit down with her and talk about the incident, but “she has decided to pursue this publicly.”
Northville attorney Sarah Prescott, representing Hariri, stated that she was close to arranging a sit-down between Hariri and Le Bon but the singer changed his mind. “We were within a hair’s breath to do a sit-down with him,” Prescott said. “At first he was kind of, ‘Yes, well, maybe later.’ It was just not gonna happen. Her view was, ‘Let’s just let the sunlight in.’”
The news of the allegations against Le Bon come a few weeks after Jamie Foxx was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2002. That case has since been closed due to statute of limitations in Las Vegas where the incident took place. The accuser against Foxx also stated the #MeToo movement inspired her to come forward.
Hailing from Birmingham, UK, Duran Duran became one of the top pop bands in the ’80s with popular hits such as “Hungry Like The Wolf,” “Rio,” “A View To A Kill,” and “The Reflex.” The band continues to tour to this day. The group recently released their 14th studio album, Paper Gods, in 2015.