Rape-Accused Moroccan Singer Plans To Perform With Haifa Wehbe In Lebanon

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Disclaimer: This article contains written text and video testimony covering the topics of sexual abuse that could be triggering to some readers.

Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred is set to perform with Haifa Wehbe in Lebanon at the Hilton Hotel on New Year’s Eve despite his multiple sexual assault charges.

Lamjarred has faced various sexual assault allegations and charges within the past decade, starting in 2010 when he was arrested in New York on suspicion of beating and raping a woman.

While out on bail, he fled the United States and hasn’t been back since. Since then, the prosecutor dropped those charges after the accuser withdrew her complaint, reportedly after reaching a settlement in a civil lawsuit according to the New York Times.

Six years later, Lamjarred was charged with rape and battery (link in French) of 20-year-old French woman, Laura Prioul, in a hotel in Paris.

The singer was expected to face 20 years in prison if convicted of the crime, but he was released on bail just 2 days after being held.

After a year of maintaining public silence, she released a video on Youtube that garnered almost 1.5 million views where she discussed what had happened to her as well as the backlash for coming forward:

Prioul told France radio RTL that the singer “ruined” her life, claiming that Lamjarred raped and beat her in October 2016 after she “refused him.”

“I wanted to defend myself, and this person hit me again, and again and again.… I couldn’t do anything. He was stronger than me. That person raped me,” she said.

The accusation was withdrawn, reporting speculations that there was an out-of-court settlement, something that won’t be publicly revealed as it is illegal under French law.

He was also accused of raping a French-Morrocan woman in Casablanca, Morocco. She said she didn’t file a complaint sooner out of “shame.” She later withdrew her complaints after “heavy pressure” from relatives – a common theme across the MENA where rape culture brings “shame” and blame to the victim.

The case is still ongoing as French prosecutors can continue with charges even after an accuser withdraws.

In June, his concert in Iraq was stormed and forced to be canceled by protestors.

Earlier this year, Lebanese singer Elissa released a song with Lamjarred entitled Min Away Dekika, sparking a backlash against her on social media along with the hashtag “Elissa supports rapists.”

We have reached out for comment from Hilton Habtoor (where the event will take place), Saad Lamjarred, and Jays Wardrobe (which appears as a sponsor on the promotional material of the event). None were immediately available.

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