TORONTO — British singer Morrissey claimed this week he was sexually assaulted at a security checkpoint at San Francisco International Airport.
“I was approached by an ‘airport security officer’ who stopped me, crouched before me and groped my penis and testicles,” the 56-year-old former The Smiths frontman shared on a fan blog.
Morrissey at the airport to catch a flight to London.
The singer said the intimate pat-down on the afternoon of July 27 was witnessed by two representatives of British Airways. One of them, he said, confronted the officer, but, “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 said he filed a formal complaint.
The U.S. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) said in a statement it reviewed video of Morrissey’s time in the security area and “determined that the supervised officer followed standard operating procedures in the screening of this individual.”
According to TSA rules, pat-downs are done by officers of the same gender and passengers have the right to request a private room and to have the pat-down witnessed by a person of their choice.
The TSA said it “strives to treat every passenger with dignity and respect.”
In April, a TSA officer at Denver International Airport was fired for groping the genitals of male passengers he found attractive.
Morrissey is scheduled to return to California in late August for concerts in San Diego and Los Angeles.
In his public missive, he warned that people traveling through San Francisco International Airport “should expect sexual abuse from the so-called ‘security officers’ who, we are unconvincingly warned, are acting only for our security.”