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Richard Branson Accused Of Sexual Harassment

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Virgin group founder Richard Branson is the latest in a series of high-profile accusations of sexual harassment.

Singer Antonia Jenae, 44, accused the 67-year-old billionaire of harassment at a 2010 party, where Jenae said Branson "motorboated" her breasts without consent, according to Page Six.

Jenae initially posted the story to Facebook using the #MeToo hashtag, which has been used by many women to raise awareness of sexual assault and harassment. Jenae later spoke about her account to the press.

"I have to be honest," Jenae wrote in her initial post on Oct. 16. "My eyes are misty as I read #MeToo after #MeToo."

Jenae recounted a childhood experience of sexual assault that took place when she was 6, and another assault that took place in high school, before writing about her experience with Branson.

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The incident is reported to have taken place at a party on Branson's Necker Island that Joss Stone and her band, including backup singer Jenae, had been invited to after they played the Go Green festival on Tortola.

"[Branson] kept trying to convince me to show him my boobs like this Indian statue he had at his pool on his island, I took it as a 'joke,'" wrote the singer. "As everyone was saying goodnight, he proceeded to 'motorboat' my breasts with his face, in front of my boss at the time, who was also a woman, in front of her dad, and the makeup artist and hairstylist. I was so shocked."

"Motorboating" is "the placement of one's face, specifically the mouth, into the area between a... woman's breasts, followed by a rapid shaking of the face in a side-to-side motion accompanied by yelling," according to Urban Dictionary.

"I think everyone was [shocked], no one said or did anything," wrote Jenae. "I like to think that karma came back in a way when his island was struck by lightning, but who knows how many other women he has done [or] is doing that to. The girl who I worked for and I made a video about how appalled and shocked we were."

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"His behavior was disgusting," Jenae told The Sun. "I feel like it was sexual assault."

"We were by the bar and he was saying bye to everyone," recalled Jenae. "He came up to me and put his face in my breasts."

"He went, 'brrrr,' and just walked away," recounted Jenae. "It was surreal, totally out of the blue. Joss and I were like, 'What the hell was that!?' Everyone was wondering why I wasn't angry because I'm usually a firebrand. But I was just too shocked."

Jenae said that Branson had been drinking at the time of the incident, but didn't seem drunk.

"We'd spent the day chilling out, touring the island. We had lunch and dinner. We were in the pool and there was a big, beautiful statue of a goddess there with her boobs out," recalled Jenae. "Richard Branson tried to get me to show him my boobs and I said: 'No!' I was wearing a one-piece swimsuit and at the time I was very heavy chested."

An anonymous source who attended the party recalled the incident: "It was a hell of a party. Richard made a bit of a beeline for Antonia. Something definitely went on between them. She didn't say what it was, or if she'd been upset. But undeniably they had a physical encounter."

A spokesperson for Branson said the business magnate did not recall the incident.

According to Jenae, the next day, Branson's assistant invited the singer to fly back to America with Branson and his wife on Branson's private jet.

"Richard has no recollection of this matter," the spokesperson said. "Neither do his family and friends who were with him at the time. There would never have been any intention to offend or make anyone feel uncomfortable. Richard apologizes if anyone felt that way."

Jenae's account is not the first allegation of misconduct against Branson, according to CNN. He had previously been accused of inappropriately touching Jessica Michibata, the ex-wife of Formula 1 driver Jenson Button, while drinking at a restaurant in Australia in 2009.

In Button's autobiography, he wrote that Branson had flirted with Michibata, and put "his hand on her face," making her uncomfortable. According to Button, Branson apologized after the incident.

Sources: Page Six, Antonia Jenae/Facebook, The Sun, CNN, Urban Dictionary / Featured Image: D@ly3D/Flickr / Embedded Images: NASA/Wikimedia CommonsAntonia Jenae/Facebook

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