Published: 2023-02-20 15:45
Last Updated: 2023-03-24 00:30
Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred arrived in court in Paris for the first day of a five-day rape trial.
The 37-year-old is accused of beating and raping a woman, identified as Laura P., in a hotel room in 2016, while he was in the French capital for a concert.
He appeared before the Paris Assize Court in a black suit and white shirt, sitting in the front row alongside an interpreter.
Laura P. sat on a bench on the other side of the small courtroom and had reportedly burst into tears when she saw Lamjarred.
When he stood up to state his identity and profession as "artist" at the helm, she turned her head away and stared at the floor.
The facts she denounces date back to October 2016.
Aged 20, she had followed the pop-star and a couple of her friends to an "after party."
At the end of the evening, she had accompanied Lamjarred to his hotel on the Champs Élysées, while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, where he allegedly beat and raped her.
She had fled the room and been picked up by hotel workers, who described a "terrorized" and crying young woman.
These same employees had stopped the presumably "drunk man who was chasing her."
Lamjarred claimed to have only defended himself when Laura P. had suddenly attacked him while they were in his room, and disputed rape claims.
He had only sued her to avoid a "scandal" because he was known, it was said.
The singer, adored in Morocco and famous throughout the Arab world, was in Paris for a concert scheduled at the Palais des Congrès.
Incarcerated in the process, he was released under an electronic bracelet in 2017 – before being briefly detained again in 2018 because he was indicted for the rape of another young woman in Saint-Tropez (Var).
Lamjarred was also implicated in rapes in similar circumstances in Casablanca and New York.
His trial in Paris is scheduled until Friday.