Quebec musician Safia Nolin caused a stir on social media Tuesday night, when she alleged she was sexually harassed and subject to racist comments by Maripier Morin.
Nolin says the events took place in May 2018, when she and Morin, an actress and TV host with a huge Quebec following, were at the same Montreal bar. Nolin alleges Morin made inappropriate advances.
“She said she was getting Instagram messages saying she looked like my ex, and she asked me if that meant I thought she was hot. She was two inches away from me and she was stroking me, and I froze up like a block of ice,” Nolin wrote in French in a series of Instagram stories.
“She said she was going to put me in a cage, that she was going to feed me, all in this super sexual tone, while she was caressing my arms,” the singer added.
“Just because the person in question is a woman, and she’s 4 foot 11, doesn’t mean it isn’t harassment. I’ve been trying to get that into my head for two years now,” Nolin wrote. “It’s still harassment, no matter who’s doing it and who they’re doing it to.”
She also alleges Morin made several racist remarks, towards her and about other people.
“She said, ‘Besides being a lesbian, what else are you?’ I told her I’m Arab. She asked why I wasn’t driving a taxi,” Nolin wrote.
“She also said the Black bartender ‘was angry, because she was Black.’ And then she said ’I’m not racist, my anus is tiny like an Asian’s.”
“After that, she bit my thigh so hard that I had an enormous bruise for two weeks. I was screaming out in the bar, it hurt so much.”
Morin admits she behaved “reprehensibly”
Morin responded late Wednesday afternoon, also on Instagram, saying she was “stunned” by Nolin’s version of events.
She remembers that night in May 2018, she said, when they were “between friends, partying, going crazy.” She said she didn’t realize she had acted inappropriately at the time, and that she thought she and Nolin were on the same page about what had happened after Nolin sent her a picture of the bruise with a message reading, “lol.”
“It wasn’t until a few days later, when she sent me a new photo of the bruise, that I realized I had behaved reprehensibly,” she said. “I immediately apologized.”
“I didn’t recognize the boundary that she says I crossed ... I never wanted to take advantage of how close we were.”
She went on to say, “God knows I’ve been in situations of excess and abuse by certain people. It’s deplorable that I became one of those people that night,” reiterating how sorry she was.
Her Instagram story made no mention of Nolin’s allegations of racism.
Nolin’s allegations were made a few hours after Morin had shared her wishes for the next year on an Instagram post celebrating her 34th birthday on July 7.
“This year, I will wish to see more benevolence, less fatphobia, thinphobia, misogyny, homophobia and racism. Basically, less cruelty. Less animosity between us, including on social media. More compassion, kindness, listening ... More ethnic diversity in our TV and in our cinema, more bodily diversity in magazines and in advertising campaigns,” she wrote.
Nolin’s allegations are part of a larger wave of accusations of sexual misconduct in the last few days. Several influencers have talked about their own experiences with harassment, after an effort was made to denounce inappropriate behaviour by some Montreal tattoo artists.
On Wednesday morning, Nolin put her stories into a permanent Instagram post, asking her followers to share her claims against Morin.
Several Quebec media personalities took up the call, with many emphasizing that they believed Nolin.
“For what it’s worth, I saw Safia Nolin’s bruise, and it was worse than what you see in the photos. It took a really long time for it to fade,” said musician Stéphanie Boulay.
Morin has lost at least two of her endorsement deals since Nolin went public. On Wednesday night, Blush Lingerie announced it was pulling the line that Morin had helped design from its website. Morin had worked on several lines with the company since 2017.
“There will be no future collaborations between Blush and Maripier Morin,” the company wrote on Instagram.
And on Thursday, the Montreal glasses company BonLook dropped her as a spokesperson.
Morin’s “behaviour towards Safia Nolin is simply unacceptable and does not align with the values our organization lives by,” BonLook wrote on Instagram. She still has commercial deals with Revlon, Reebok, and Buick.
Later on Thursday, Morin said she would put her career on hold in order to get help.
“I don’t want to make excuses for my words and my actions,” she said in a release. “Instead I want to understand, and more than anything, find the help I need. I will start therapy with health professionals who will know how to help me.”
HuffPost Quebec reached out to both Morin and Nolin, and we will update this story if we hear back.
This story originally appeared on HuffPost Québec. Translation by Maija Kappler.
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