One week after encouraging survivors of sexual abuse to come forward, Seal has been accused of sexual battery by his former neighbor Tracey Birdsall.
The Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter actress, 54, told TMZ on Tuesday, January 16, that she and the “Kiss From a Rose” singer, also 54, developed a close friendship in the fall of 2016 while they were neighbors in Los Angeles. She claimed that he once lunged at her in his kitchen in an attempt to kiss her, and then proceeded to belittle her outfit and grope her breasts without consent.
According to the website, Birdsall reported her claims to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Saturday, January 13, and a criminal investigation has since been launched.
Seal’s rep responded to the allegations in a statement to Us Weekly: “Seal vehemently denies the recent accusations made against him by a former neighbor for alleged misconduct of more than a year ago. He intends to vigorously defend himself against these false allegations.”
Us Weekly has also reached out to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department for comment.
The four-time Grammy winner, who was married to Heidi Klum from 2005 to 2014, came under fire last week after he posted a meme on Instagram of disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein hanging out with other celebrities. “When you have been part of the problem for decades but suddenly they all think you are the solution,” the image read. (Weinstein, 65, has denied allegations of non-consensual sex.)
Seal later apologized for his Instagram post, which was criticized by stars including Chrissy Teigen. In a Facebook video posted on Thursday, January 11, he urged victims of sexual misconduct to “please keep showing that courage and please keep coming forward because that’s the only way that we get to solve this thing.”