Singer Seal is under investigation for sexual battery after being accused of forcible kissing and groping by a former neighbor, actress Tracy Birdsall, TMZ reports. According to Birdsall, she and Seal were neighbors and friends until fall 2016, when she says she went to his house to retrieve a borrowed salad spinner. While there, Birdsall alleges that Seal attempted to force a kiss on her, mocked her choice of clothing, and groped her breasts despite her objections.
In a statement to TMZ, a representative for Seal said, “Seal vehemently denies the recent allegations made against him by a former neighbor for alleged misconduct more than a year ago. He intends to vigorously defend himself against these false allegations.”
Last week, while attempting to walk back an Instagram meme suggesting Oprah Winfrey should have known Harvey Weinstein’s reputation, Seal urged victims of sexual harassment in general to speak out. “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,” Seal said. “We talk about it, we open dialogue, we solve it.”
Birdsall told TMZ that Seal’s remarks on the subject prompted her to report his alleged actions to police. An Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department source reportedly confirmed the office took a report Saturday (January 13).