Lacoste cuts ties with rappers Moha La Squale, Roméo Elvis, both accused of sexual assault
French sportswear label Lacoste has told the AFP agency it has stopped collaborating with rappers Moha La Squale and Roméo Elvis, after several young women accused both artists on social media of sexual assault.
“[Lacoste] would like to make clear that, when we associate our corporate image to a brand ambassador, the idea behind the operation is to open up new horizons for both parties. This is not what is currently happening in France with some of these [ambassadors], and we deeply regret this,” stated Lacoste in a press release sent to AFP, confirming information reported by French news channel BFM TV.
Lacoste said that it “ceased collaborating with Moha La Squale several months ago, because his behaviour was no longer consistent with [Lacoste’s] brand values.”
With regards to Roméo Elvis, a Lacoste spokesperson said that “we won’t extend his contract,” without adding further details. “We wholeheartedly condemn all forms of violence, harassment and aggression,” indicated Lacoste’s press release, adding that “we will continue to associate with brand ambassadors from different domains, but we will always condemn any behaviour that goes against our values of respect and tolerance.”
Lacoste teamed up with French rapper Moha La Squale in 2018, creating a variety of bespoke looks, while Belgian rapper Roméo Elvis announced he was collaborating with the French sportswear label in 2019.
Moha La Squale, 25, has been under investigation since early September for “sexual assault,” “wilful abuse” and “death threats,” following accusations by three women, who all filed complaints. A fourth accusation was filed on September 11.
Moha La Squale was one of the success stories on the French music scene in 2018, his first album ‘Bendero’ selling over 50,000 copies and winning over the critics and the public.
An award-winning artist in 2019, Moha La Squale, who trained at the Cours Florent performing arts academy, made his breakthrough posting freestyles on Facebook and YouTube, showing him rapping in his kitchen or around the La Banane neighbourhood in Ménilmontant, a former industrial area in eastern Paris.
Roméo Elvis, 27, apologised on social media in early September for having “used [his] hands in an improper manner on someone,” saying he thought he was responding “to an invitation that was no such thing.” He said that “something that is too often seen as a banal act is a mistake that should not be made,” adding “I’m not proud of this situation, and I hope to serve as an example that must not be followed.”
“[Roméo Elvis] sexually assaulted me #balancetonrappeur [#denounceyourrapper]” read a post on a social media account whose user wasn't identifiable. The user also published screenshots of Roméo Elvis telling her he was “a s**t” and was “truly ashamed.”
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