A fan and record shop worker claimed earlier this week that Le Bon assaulted her in 1995.
The woman, named Shereen Hariri, claimed that the pop star groped her during an autograph session at a record store where she worked in 1995. Taking to Facebook earlier this week, she says that Le Bon was posing for photos when he grabbed her “butt cheek” and started “making his way down my butt to my genitals”.
“I was shocked and completely frozen,” she continued, adding that she is not seeking compensation, only an apology from Le Bon.
Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran
Hariri, now aged 47 and working as a therapist in Los Angeles, said she was “afraid of the consequences” at the time of confronting the star after the incident. “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.”
However, she began to change her mind when news broke of then-candidate Donald Trump’s infamous ‘grab them by the p***y’ tape emerged in October 2016.
“I decided that time's up. I'm not holding this secret anymore,” Hariri wrote in her statement. “I want everyone to know what this man did to me. I hope he comes clean publicly. I hope he make amends to his wife and daughters.”
Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, Hariri's lawyer said Le Bon had pulled out of a recent proposed meeting with her client - which prompted her to go public with her story. “We were within a hair's breadth to do a sit-down with him,” attorney Sarah 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’.”
Le Bon responded on Thursday (July 12th) to Hariri’s claims via Duran Duran’s official Facebook page.
“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 apologize for my failings. But I cannot apologize for something I did not do.”
Furthermore, the band’s long-term publicist and assistant Katy Krassner added her defence, saying that the incident “did not happen… 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.”