According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, Le Bon allegedly groped a fan named Shereen Hariri during a Duran Duran autograph signing event at the record store where she worked. Hariri, now 47, claimed the singer grabbed and massaged her “right butt cheek,” eventually “making his way down my butt to my genitals.”
“I was afraid to move, afraid of the consequences, and enraged that he knew he could do such a thing in front of cameras. It was so smug, so self-assured, so unbelievably brazen,” she recounted to the Free Press. “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.
While fear of backlash has kept her silent for more than two decades, Hariri said she’s decided to come forward and speak up. She was prompted by the infamous Access Hollywood video where Donald Trump is heard bragging about how his fame has allowed him to grab women “by the pussy” without any consequences.
“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 make amends to his wife and daughters,” said Hariri, later continuing, “I hope his daughters live in a better world than the one he created — and mine does too. I hope none of them are grabbed by the pussy by a powerful man just because he can.”
In a statement posted to Duran Duran’s official Facebook page, the 59-year-old Le Bon outright refuted all of Hariri’s accusations. “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,” the frontman added. “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.”
Contrary to Le Bon’s statement, Hariri’s lawyer asserted that it was actually Le Bon who pulled out of their supposed face-to-face meeting. Hariri’s lawyer also emphasized that her client isn’t coming forward in order to seek financial compensation, but that she simply wants acknowledgement and an apology from Le Bon.
As The Guardian points out, in the comments section below Le Bon’s statement, someone purporting to have been Le Bon’s assistant during the time of the alleged assault also refuted Hariri’s assault claims. “I can tell you that what he is being accused of DID NOT happen,” the person, named Katy Krassner, wrote. “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.”
Read Le Bon’s full statement below.