Morrissey alleges that a member of airport security sexually assaulted him by grabbing his genitals, following a routine pre-flight security screening.
The alleged incident took place at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Calif., on July 27th, according to a post that the musician made to the fan site, True To You.
Morrissey was on his way to board a British Airways flight to London, when the alleged sexual assault occurred, NME reports.
The British musician had been in the States on a summer tour, which was supposed to feature guest appearances by Blondie and Amanda Palmer. But, Palmer, who is pregnant, had to pull out of the tour to focus on her health after she contracted acute Lyme Disease.
“At 2:30 in the afternoon I went through the usual airport security procedure including the stand-up ‘scanner’, and all was well – no bleeps and nothing unusual,” he wrote on True To You.
Morrissey continued: “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. He quickly moved away as an older “airport security officer” approached.”
In the post, the musician revealed that he was initially reluctant about filing a complaint as the male security officer in question “as with any complaint against a figure in ‘authority,’ the complaints are simply collected in order to protect the guilty officer,” Morrissey wrote.
But, the musician was persuaded by two members of British Airways Special Services, who were accompanying him through the airport, that filing a complaint was “worthwhile,” and he did go on to submit the appropriate information. However, Morrissey first confronted the security officer, who was only identified as the General Manager on Duty, about the alleged assault. And, the General Manager in question only responded to Morrissey’s accusations with, “That’s just your opinion.”
“Apart from ‘that’s just your opinion,’ he would not comment, even though, since the penis and testicles were mine and no one else’s, then my opinion must surely have some meaning,” Morrissey wrote on True To You. “But, of course, what the airport security officer was saying was: your opinion will never count in the eyes of the law.”
Though the incident was likely captured on a nearby CCTV, as the musician noted in his post, and the two British Airways Special Service representatives provided corroborating witness statements, Morrissey remained skeptical about whether or not San Francisco International Airport or the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would take action to investigate his complaint.
In his conclusion, Morrissey wrote: “In the interests of imperishable bureaucracy my submitted complaint against this ‘officer’ will obviously be either unread or ignored because, as we all know, on matters of officialism it is not possible to be pleasantly surprised by anything at all. However, what is clear is that, should you find yourself traveling through San Francisco International Airport, you should expect sexual abuse from the so-called ‘security officers’ who, we are unconvincingly warned, are acting only for our security.”
Rolling Stone reached out to the airport for comment, but they received no reply. A TSA spokesperson, identified in Rolling Stone’s article as Mike England, reached out to the magazine and denied that there was any officer misconduct.
“TSA takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and strives to treat every passenger with dignity and respect,” England told Rolling Stone. “Upon review of closed circuit TV footage, TSA determined that the supervised officer followed standard operating procedures in the screening of this individual.”