A record-breaking Moroccan pop star already wanted in the United States for sexual assault was brought before a judge in France this morning to face charges of sexual assault with violence.
Saad Lamjarredwas arrested at the Marriott Champs Elysées in Paris on Wednesday, after a complaint was filed by a 20 year old French woman.
According to a judicial source the alleged victim, who was “very shocked”, says the attack took place in the hotel where Lamjarred was staying. Following the violent assault, the woman was able to escape the singer’s room and seek help at the hotel reception.
French weekly newsmagazine L’Express reports that the 20 year old has since been issued with an eight-day temporaire de travail, a medical certificate which states that a person is physically unable to perform any activities.
In May, the Morocco-famous singer and actor was hit with a Brooklyn Supreme Court lawsuit, which was reopened six years after a young woman accused him of beating and raping her after they went out on a date. In New York on a travel visa during the incident, the star posted bail and fled the country.
He faces 25 years behind bars in the United States.
During a press conference following his becoming a fugitive Lamjarred was unrepentant. Speaking from Morocco at the time he said “it is the fate of all the big stars to suffer such rumours”, claiming: “The cause of all this is none other than my success, thank you God!”
Following the star’s arrest on Wednesday Moroccans were also quick to defend their fellow countryman. According to Al Arabiya, the hashtag “We are all Saad Lamjarred” trended for most of the day in Morocco yesterday with many claiming the charges were “an attack on success and popularity”.
Additionally, a raft of celebrities from Morocco’s world of showbiz lined up to offer their support such as Arab Idol star Ibtissam Tiskat who said the charges were a set-up, motivated by “hatred and envy”.
Moroccan Minister of Culture Mohamed Amine Sbihi also weighed in on Lamjarred’s arrest for violent sexual assault. On Thursday he told the press he was following the case “with great interest”, to see what will happen to the “great figure of the Moroccan song” . Sbihi added that he is willing to “do everything necessary to solve the problem” .
Lamjarred’s 2015 hit single “LM3ALLEM”, which earned a Guinness World Record after it was viewed 100 million times on YouTube within three months of release, is the most viewed Arabic video on YouTube with more than 400 million views.