Seal Told Women to Speak Up. One Named Him
Singer 'vehemently denies' allegations of sexual battery made by actress
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2018 12:45 PM CST
Seal poses for a portrait in West Hollywood, Calif., on Oct 18, 2017.   (Photo by Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – This probably isn't what Seal had in mind when he encouraged sexual abuse victims to speak out in a Thursday Facebook video. After seeing the video, actress Tracey Birdsall tells TMZ she was inspired to tell her own story of assault involving the "Kiss From A Rose" singer. Birdsall says she was living near Seal in Los Angeles in the fall of 2016 when she went to his house to retrieve a salad spinner he had borrowed. At that point, she says Seal tried to forcibly kiss her and groped her breasts, suggesting that her outfit (shorts and a tank top) meant she was asking for it. Birdsall says she told the singer to stop, but agreed to sit beside him on a couch out of shock. She says Seal continued to grope her and made additional comments about her clothing.

A rep for the singer says Seal "vehemently denies" the allegations and "intends to vigorously defend himself." It's not clear if the case will move to a courtroom, but Los Angeles police say that a report of sexual battery was filed against the singer on Saturday, per Page Six. Two days earlier, Seal had posted a video to Facebook, denying suggestions that his reposting of a Harvey Weinstein meme was meant as a dig at Oprah Winfrey. Addressing the "toxic nature of Hollywood," Seal explained "none of the women who have come forward have received any real justice whatsoever. Losing your job because you either A) raped or B) sexually abused or even sexually harassed a woman is not real punishment," he continued, before telling victims to "please keep coming forward."

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