Entertainment & Arts

Morrissey claims sex assault by security at US airport

Morrissey Image copyright AP
Image caption Morrissey, the former frontman of The Smiths, said he has filed a sexual assault complaint

British singer Morrissey has claimed he was sexually assaulted by a security officer at San Francisco International Airport, who he says "groped" him.

Writing on his True to You fan website, the star said he had been going through security checks on his way to board a flight to London when it happened.

Airport officials have insisted they were following normal procedure.

Morrissey said he was accompanied by two British Airways staff who assured him that "a complaint was worthwhile".

"I went through the usual airport security procedure including the stand-up 'scanner', and all was well - no bleeps and nothing unusual," wrote Morrissey.

"Before I could gather my belongings from the usual array of trays I was approached by an 'airport security officer' who stopped me, crouched before me and groped my penis and testicles."

Complaint filed

Morrissey said the security officer in question had "quickly moved away as an older 'airport security officer' approached".

He added: "Luckily I was accompanied by two members of British Airways Special Services, who were horrified at the sexual attack and suggested that I lodge a complaint."

The singer - who has now filed a sexual assault complaint - also detailed an exchange with the security officer who he said was challenged over "sexually groping" him. Morrissey said he replied to each statement with "that's just your opinion."

An official spokesman for the Transport Security Administration (TSA) said security camera footage confirmed that nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.

"TSA takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and strives to treat every passenger with dignity and respect," said TSA spokesman Mike England.

"Upon review of closed circuit TV footage, TSA determined that the supervised officer followed standard operating procedures in the screening of this individual."

He added that the arrival of a second person to screen Morrissey was normal, and helped "to ensure the passenger does not have threat items, such as explosives concealed under clothing."

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