Dubai : In the Arab world, there’s nobody who does not know the wildly popular composer-singer-actor Saad Lamjarred.
On Tuesday, Lamjarred was detained in France after prosecutors successfully appealed against his bail terms over his second rape charge.
The 33-year-old pop star, who comes from a well-heeled family, was charged on August 28 with the rape of a young women in Saint Tropez in south-eastern France, were he was spending the summer vacation at a resort.
The public prosecutor’s charge sheets described the accusations to be “acts that could be described as rape”.
The complaint from the young French seasonal worker at the resort was not the first made against the phenomenal artist.
Lamjarred was already out on bail from a previous rape case.
The pop star was previously arrested on October 26, 2016 following police complaint of physical assault and rape by Laura Prioul at a hotel in Paris earlier that month.
After a six-month detention, Lamjarred gained temporary freedom in April 2017 — but his passport was confiscated and released on bail with an electronic tag.
Since then he has been stuck in France waiting for his trial.
Lamjarred’s high-profile lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti, who was assigned by the Moroccan King in 2016 to defend the star in the first case, decided to quit the star’s defence team last month after the fresh rape accusations were lodge in Saint-Tropez.
Laura Prioul who had accused the Moroccan singer in 2017, voiced her joy in a tweet, describing the French judiciary order to detain Lamjarred over the recent rape case as “just”, and thanked everybody for the support.
Who is Lamjarred
Lamjarred is considered one of the most famous Arab world pop stars. He was considered the young musical genius who disrupted Arab pop music.
Every song Lmjarred released since 2015 had become a smash-hit across the Arab world, trending on music charts for months.
In 2015 his song “Lm3allen” (the boss) earned a Guinness World record after getting 500 million views on Youtube within three months of release. User views today stand at 650 million.
In 2016, Lamjarred’s music video of his single ”GHALTANA" (“You’re mistaken”) drew more than 145 million views.
In August, Saad was released a day after he was arrested also on bail that cost him $175,450.
While facing his second rape case and on bail from the first rape case, prosecutors appealed against the bail terms, and he was arrested again.
He is now expected to stay in jail until his trial starts.
Prosecutors told AFP the latest case was "complex" and involved two "radically opposed versions of events".
But no details were yet released of the allegations made against him.
Those two cases against Lamjarrad in France are not the only ones: In 2010 he was arrested in New York on suspicion of beating and raping a woman.
He fled the US while he was on bail. Later, the charges were dropped.
Amid the 2016 accusation, the Moroccan media have also reported a rape case that was withdrawn in his home country.
A French-Moroccan woman claimed to have been physically assaulted by Lamjarred in Casablanca, reported the incident to the police, but later withdrew the complaint under pressure from her family. Rape is still considered in conservative Arab societies to be a scandal on the women and her whole family.
Why fans idolize Lamjarred
When the singer was arrested in 2016 fans, celebrities, officials across Arab world didn’t believe the accusations and stood in support of the singer.
The Moroccan king himself intervened to cover the singer's legal fees, and appointed the high-profile lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti to defend him.
A hashtag back then was started by celebrities supporting Lamjarred, which became the most trending Hashtag on social media, reaching to be the fourth-most popular on Twitter.
Many of his fans maintained that he was the victim of a "plot" to destroy him as he was becoming a loved star with no limits to his career.
Moroccan media even showed footage of protests "in solidarity" with the singer during his detention, in France.
The first song he released one year after the alleged incident — and dedicated to the king — showed just how popular he remained, gaining over 140m views.
A month ago, in August, he also released “Casablanca” which was played in all the hot clubs worldwide and reached 77 million views.
Upon his arrest on Tuesday, and a second rape charge, not much was heard from his fellow celebrities, who have started to wonder if this man’s innocent smile, shy looks and down-to-earth personality have tricked everybody’s judgments.
Famous actress Hind Sabri went down harsh on Lamjarred: “I was one of the people who ruled out the first accusation, but the repetition killed any doubt. This young man is mocking himself and his audience and does not deserve to be a star or an example to anyone. “
كنت من الناس الذين استبعدوا إتهامه الأول ، لكن التكرار قتل الشك . هذا الشاب استهتر بنفسه و بجمهوره و لا يستحق أن يكون نجما أو قدوة لأحد. https://t.co/3IRiU4T287— Hend Sabry (@HendSabry) August 27, 2018
Many also took social media to express their disappointment in Lamjarred, especially Moroccan women who are fighting day and night against the growing rape cases in their country.
One took to twitter expressing her surprise from fans “I don't know how to feel #tbh poeple still ask to play his songs in all radio stations because it's good music but also that he is a criminal and already jailed make it weird”
Farah Sater Ferraton have also posted her thoughts on the case “Thoughts on #SaadLamjarred’s 3rd Rape accusation. 1. Notice the number 3 and think logically. 2. A man can be very handsome and super rich, and still committ the WORST kind of Violence Against Women #VAW #GBV 3. Stop glorifying famous people, making every accusation a conspiracy.”
Thoughts on #SaadLamjarred’s 3rd Rape accusation.
1. Notice the number 3 and think logically.
2. A man can be very handsome and super rich, and still committ the WORST kind of Violence Against Women #VAW #GBV
3. Stop glorifying famous people, making every accusation a conspiracy. https://t.co/SxpcaCikpf— Farah Sater Ferraton (@FarahSFerraton) September 15, 2018
Mila on the other hand tweeted “No sympathy for a rapist. Rot in jail.”