Famed trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf took to social media to criticize the media and announce his plans to file defamation charges, following reports that he is being investigated for a sexual crime against a minor.
"I'm outraged by the grave charges brought against and I am in a state of shock today," the Lebanese-French musician wrote in lengthy Facebook and Twitter posts on Thursday.
"Extremely prejudiced false information was deliberately disseminated for the sole purpose of describing me as a sexual predator," he said.
Last week, media reported that Maalouf is under investigation for "sexual interference" with a 14-year-old girl. The incident dates back to 2013, when the girl was interning for Maalouf.
Media reports alleged that the musician kissed the minor and also asked her to send him nude photos.
While Maalouf did not deny the incident altogether, he criticized the press for referring to the incident as "sexual aggression" and "sexual assault." He also flatly denied that he requested nude photos, calling this information "false."
"I was severely tried before the media court. And it is for me, clearly an abuse of power," he wrote. Maalouf said that the media judged him as guilty before the facts were brought to light.
Maalouf declined to explain the specifics of the case from his perspective, but said that he has given instructions to his lawyers to launch a defamation suit against those responsible for the "unjustifiable" accusations.
French prosecutor Laure Beccuau said the inquiry centers on "sexual interference, which is different from sexual assault because it involves the consent of the minor," according to Al Arabiya.
If Maalouf is charged and convicted, he faces up to five years in jail and a 75,000 euro ($79,000) penalty.
In February, Maalouf won France's equivalent to the Oscars, the César award, for his work on the movie “Dans les forêts de Sibérie.” He is credited with becoming a reference for oriental electro-jazz.
It was his second César nomination. In 2015, he was nominated for Best Original Score for his work on Yves Saint Laurent, a 2014 French biographical drama film.
He is now seen as one of the leading, and best-selling, jazz musicians and composers in France and is the winner of countless awards. He has played with performers as varied as Amadou & Mariam, Lhasa de Sela, Sting, Arthur H and Marcel Khalife.