Last week, Seal encouraged women to share their own stories of sexual misconduct. And now, one woman has reportedly come forward with her own allegations against the singer — allegations he “vehemently denies.”
TMZ reported Tuesday that the 54-year-old “Kiss from a Rose” singer is currently under criminal investigation for sexual battery, stemming from an alleged incident at his home in the fall of 2016 with actress Tracey Birdsall.
According to Birdsall, 54, Seal had allegedly forced himself on her in his kitchen — attempting to kiss her and later groping her breasts in advances she quickly pushed off and demanded he stop.
Though they were neighbors and developed a close friendship, Birdsall told TMZ there was never anything romantic between them and that his advances came out of nowhere. She claimed he belittled her outfit, insinuating the tank top and shorts she was wearing implied she was asking for it. After Seal allegedly groped her again, she said she left and has not had contact with him since.
Seal has refuted Birdsall’s claims, with reps for the star telling PEOPLE in a statement he “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,” the statement continued.
Birdsall has reported her claims to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department on Saturday, TMZ reported. The alleged incident is reportedly under investigation.
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In the wake of Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech, Seal found himself in hot water when he posted a meme of Winfrey with disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein that read “When you have been part of the problem for decades, but suddenly they all think you are the solution.”
Seal added in the caption, “Oh I forgot, that’s right….. you’d heard the [rumors] but you had no idea he was actually serially assaulting young [starry]-eyed actresses who in turn had no idea what they were getting into. My bad. #SanctimoniousHollywood.”
While the post appeared to be an attack on Winfrey — causing many, including Chrissy Teigen, to knock him — Seal posted an impassioned video to Facebook days later explaining that wasn’t his intention.
“What I reposted was commentary on the hypocritical and double standard nature and behavior of Hollywood,” he said. “To those of us who support the #MeToo movement, just know this: not one of the women who have been sexually abused, not one of the women who have come forward, has received any real justice whatsoever. Losing your job because you either a) raped, 2) sexually abused, or even sexually harassed a woman is not real punishment. You steal from the post office, you go to jail. And #RealTalk, we all know what would happen to any one of those power abusers if they looked like me.”
It appears his words resonated with Birdsall, who told TMZ she was inspired to contact authorities after watching his video.