The second phase of the Saad Lamjarred rape trial, where he’s accused of assaulting and raping a French woman, Laura Prioul, in a hotel room in Paris during a concert in 2016, began on Tuesday morning. The trial will continue until Friday, the 24th of February, but we what got you what we know so far.
Lamjarred, who rose to fame with hits like “Lm3allem” and “Ghazali,” has been accused of rape multiple times in recent years, sparking a widespread debate about sexual violence and accountability.
The allegations against Lamjarred first came to light in 2016 when a French-Moroccan woman named Laura Prioul accused him of rape in a hotel room in Paris. Prioul claimed that she met Lamjarred at a nightclub and that he invited her back to his hotel room.
Once there, she alleges that he raped her, causing injuries that required hospitalization. Lamjarred was arrested and detained in France but was released on bail and returned to Morocco.
While the incident happened in 2016, it’s only going to court now.
Missing Witnesses Lead to Testimony from Laura Prioul
According to a French journalist following the session from inside the courtroom, the absence of some witnesses made the judge have Laura Prioulshare her testimony on the stand. The victim recounted her meeting with Lamjarred at a nightclub in Paris, where they exchanged conversations about Morocco and his musical career.
Prioul said everyone was supposed to go to another nightclub that night, but the plan changed when the singer told them he wanted to go to a hotel because he couldn’t get the VIP room he wanted.
They went to the Intercontinental Hotel, where they took doses of cocaine, but Prioul did not. Prioul further testified that she went to the hotel room where Lamjarred was staying, but the others did not join them.
She said they consensually kissed inside the room, but Lamjarred suddenly pushed her to the ground, and she hit her head, causing her to cry and plead with him to stop.
Prioul recounted the details of the repeated attacks she suffered before the singer stopped without her understanding why. Then, she took the opportunity to hide in the bathroom. After leaving, Lamjarred was calm. She explained that it was like having two different people; one who’s abusive and one who is caring.
She added that after throwing her to the ground and multiple punches, he called room service to ask for ice for her bruises. But when the room service arrived, he told her to shut up, which she did out of fear.
After the incident, she stated that he asked her to marry him, which she refused. Later, a friend of hers tried to convince her to take money from Lamjarred and drop the case, which she also refused.
It’s worth noting that workers at the hotel claimed they witnessed seeing Laura bruised and had her clothes ripped when she was leaving and asked them for help, but as of now, no witnesses have come forward. It’s unclear why they refused to show up.
It’s important to remember, Prioul is not the only victim of Lamjarred
Following the Paris incident, other women came forward with similar allegations against Lamjarred. In 2017, a second French-Moroccan woman accused him of rape; in 2018, a third woman, a Moroccan national, also came forward with accusations of sexual assault. All three women claimed that Lamjarred had raped them in hotel rooms after meeting them at nightclubs.
Even after all the allegations, Lamjarred still finds supporters
Despite the allegations, Lamjarred’s career has continued to find major success, with his music continuing to be popular in Morocco and across the Middle East. He has released several new songs since the allegations first surfaced and have continued to perform live shows and make television appearances. He recently had a concert in Sharm El-Shikh, Egypt, which was met with major backlash yet still took place.
The allegations against Lamjarred have sparked a great deal of controversy and debate, both in the Middle East and internationally. The singer’s supporters argue that he is innocent until proven guilty and that the allegations have not been conclusively proven in a court of law.
However, others have pointed to the fact that Lamjarred was arrested and detained in France, suggesting that there may be some merit to the accusations.
The case has also raised important questions about sexual violence and accountability, particularly in conservative societies like the Middle East. While we have made some progress in recent years in terms of recognizing and addressing sexual violence, many women still face significant barriers to reporting abuse and receiving justice.
Moreover, the fact that a high-profile figure like Lamjarred has been accused of rape multiple times highlights the urgent need for more comprehensive and effective systems for addressing sexual violence.
The allegations against Saad Lamjarred have sparked an important conversation about sexual violence and accountability in the music industry. While the singer has denied the accusations against him and has not been convicted of any crime, the fact that multiple women have come forward with similar allegations raises serious concerns. We must continue to have these conversations and work to create a safer, more just society for all.