As of late, RB crooner Miguel has been promoting War Leisure, his latest album which debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard charts earlier this month. But in a recent interview with Spin Magazine, the topic of discussion wasn’t just the artist’s music, it was a sexual assault claim against Miguel that was made by a University of New Mexico student in March.
Many outlets failed to pick up the story, but we brought it to your attention the day after student Xian Bass posted an Instagram video giving her account of the assault when she ran into the 32-year-old at a club:
“I asked him if we could take a picture…he was super cool at first…,” she said. “I was like, I just want to introduce myself to you…I’m majoring in health human services. I’m really passionate about sexual health and sexual education…I’ve made myself orgasm to [adorn] many of times, and I love the song…but right after we take the photo, he reaches his hand down my shirt and takes my breast out of my top, like literally pulls my breast out of my shirt right after we took the photo, and I’m like – I froze because it was so sudden.”
Bass, 31, then posted the photo of her and Miguel the night of the incident with the following caption explaining how he took it upon himself to grope her without consent.
Dear Miguel, I used to be a fan of your music. I was a fan of your music until you blatantly disrespected my body in a public place. There is nothing I did or said that warranted this disgusting display of entitlement, rape culture, and male privilege. I approached you respectfully and you still decided my body was not sacred enough to be treated as a human being. After we took this photo, you took it upon yourself to grab my breast and remove it from my shirt WITHOUT CONSENT. You then proceeded to look at my naked breast with such a disgusting look on your face. It’s still embedded in my memory. The sneer of your lip and salivating mouth is making my stomach turn. I really don’t understand why you would do that to someone who approached you as a fan. I’m beyond disgusted right now. Are you used to treating random female strangers this way? Have you gotten away with this in the past? Well, it stops HERE and NOW. I will not sit in shameful silence and allow sexual assault to be normalized. #toxicmasculinity #maleprivilege #violated #rapecultureisreal #celebrityprivilege #iwasntaskingforit #speakup #speakupspeakout #nomiguel
A post shared by Xian Bass (@xianbass) on Mar 14, 2017 at 12:38pm PDT
About a week after the allegation, TMZ caught up with the “Come Through and Chill” singer at LAX, asking him point blank, “So, 1000% didn’t happen?” To which Miguel responded, “that’s not even worth answering.”
Although Miguel gave a non-answer, his partner, Nazanin Mandi, gave a very clear one, calling the allegation “clown foolery.”
And here we are nine months later, and Bass’ allegation has returned to the light. Bass was asked for an interview by Spin after the magazine had already met with Miguel. The publication admitted that they had forgotten about her story, but its editors believed that it was important to include in their feature — and rightly so. Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the “Silence Breakers” who spoke up about sexual harassment were named Time‘s Person of the Year, I think everyone is more aware of the importance of allowing women to tell their stories.
Though Bass was hesitant to speak to Spin, she agreed to tell her side and she talked about another type of hesitancy when she decided to file a report with the Barstow Police Department the night of the incident on the way back to Albuquerque, NM:
“I didn’t want to [file the report] because black lives matter,” said Bass. “I [didn’t] want to because I do not want to put another brown man in jail. I [didn’t] want to because I [didn’t] want to be re-traumatized by going to law enforcement. However, yes, I did. I didn’t want to, but I do know that for other people who may have been abused or assaulted or whatever, maybe this will help them as well.”
Bass also revealed that she has been a victim of sexual assault before:
“As a survivor of [previous] sexual violence, my body and my mind react in a way that keep me as safe as possible knowing that there could be even worse encounters or retaliations.”
Spin requested a follow-up interview with Miguel regarding Bass’ allegations, but he declined. Instead, his publicist issued the following statement:
“I felt I had already addressed how bizarre and twisted this accusation was when I was asked about it in March. Her story of what transpired is not accurate and the accusation is unfair and unwarranted.”
Although Spin wasn’t able to get the “Adorn” singer to respond directly to Bass’ claim, he did say this about the #MeToo Movement:
“It is pretty weird right now. It’s an interesting time for women, which is amazing, it’s incredible. We’re seeing women really emerge as the clearly superior leaders that they really are. And we’re going to go through some growing pains with it, trying to find the balance of what that means. Because coupling the social aspect of it in terms of equality with the time we live in with attention, it’s going to go through some stuff. But I think overall, it’s exciting to watch women really emerge and claim their superiority. Women are just so much smarter, and also their ability to be compassionate, we need that in the collective consciousness.”