The Los Angeles District Attorney's office will not be moving forward with the sexual battery claim against Seal, whose real name is Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel. Actress Tracey Birdsall, who was a neighbor of Seal's, alleged that when she was returning a salad spinner she borrowed, the singer tried to force himself on her and groped her breasts in 2016. When she turned Seal down, Birdsall said that he indicated that her shorts and tank top were sending a message. Birdsall said she decided to come forward after Seal called out the hypocrisy in Hollywood after Oprah's Cecil B. DeMille Award acceptance speech and he released a Facebook video on January 11, applauding women who had spoken up about their assault and encouraging women who had been raped or sexually abused to come forward.
After a report was filed with Malibu/Lost Hill Station detectives in January, Seal issued a statement through his representatives, "vehemently denying" the allegations. The singer, through the statement, said he would defend himself against the claims. After the LA District Attorney's office issued its decision, Birdsall sent an email to USA Today. She said that no one in their right mind would come forward to make a claim just for attention only. She encouraged women who hadn't spoken up, telling them there was no shame. She went on to say that she was glad she came forward because it would also help her prepare for a "very difficult scene" in one of her upcoming movies. Birdsall didn't mention being disappointed by the District Attorney's decision. Instead, the actress opted for a noncommittal statement.
"The police and the DA have their jobs to do, and it's really not my place to tell them how to do it or to have an opinion on it."The Los Angeles District Attorney's office had several reasons for declining to pursue the potential case against Seal. A document obtained by ET cited "the delay in reporting the incident, the statute of limitations and the lack of witnesses and/or evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt."
Seal joined a long list of men who have been accused of sexual assault and harassment that began after The New York Times ran a detailed list of Harvey Weinstein's alleged crimes, three of which have now been submitted to the LA District Attorney for potential prosecution.