Seal adds his name to the list of prominent people in Hollywood accused of sexual misconduct after actress Tracey Birdsall alleged the singer sexually violated her.
Seal, known professionally as Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel, is under criminal investigation for allegedly groping and kissing Birdsall. On Saturday, Jan. 13, the actress filed a police report with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for sexual battery.
Birdsall alleged that the incident happened in the fall of 2016 at the singer's home in Los Angeles. She claimed she and Seal were neighbors and developed a close friendship. However, that friendship ended after she dropped by at his home to retrieve a salad spinner she lent him.
The Doomsday star said Seal lunged at her and attempted to kiss her while they were at his kitchen. She shouted at him and asked what he was doing to which Seal replied that he is kissing her. Birdsall then claimed that the singer and songwriter belittled her and suggested that she was asking for it because of her outfit — she was dressed in shorts and a tank top. Seal then allegedly groped her breasts and she demanded him to stop.
Birdsall later sat down with him on the couch upon his invitation (she obliged out of shock). Seal again made fun of her outfit and groped her breasts again. The 54-year-old actress claimed she left shortly afterward and never had any contact with the singer again.
However, Seal is denying Birdsall's allegations. A representative for the singer said that he intends to clear his name.
"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," Seal's spokesperson said in a statement sent to Rollingstone on Tuesday, Jan. 16.
Birdsall decided to come out with her own story of sexual abuse after she saw Seal's comments about Oprah Winfrey and Harvey Weinstein on his Instagram. The singer shared a meme that shows the talk show host kissing Weinstein on the cheek.
"When you have been part of the problem for decades but suddenly they all think you are the solution," reads the text overlay on the photo.
Likewise, Birdsall's accusation against Seal comes after he encouraged other victims of sexual harassment to speak up. He expressed his support for the #MeToo movement and applauded those who were brave enough to share their stories of abuse.
"What you did takes real courage, and please keep showing that courage and please keep coming forward because that's the only way that we get to solve this thing. We talk about it; we open dialogue; we solve it," Seal said in a Facebook post.