Morrissey has claimed he was sexually assaulted by a US airport security guard who copped a feel of his gentlemanly area – but officials insisted on Thursday they were following normal procedures.

The former Smiths frontman said it happened on Monday, on the way to board a flight to London at San Francisco International airport.  “I went through the usual airport security procedure including the standup ‘scanner’, and all was well – no bleeps and nothing unusual,” Morrissey told fan website True to You.

“Before I could gather my belongings from the usual array of trays, I was approached by an ‘airport security officer’ who stopped me, crouched before me and groped my penis and testicles.  He quickly moved away as an older ‘airport security officer’ approached,” he said, adding that two British Airways “special services employees” accompanying him “assured me that a complaint was worthwhile.”.  On that basis, Morrisey said that he filed a sexual assault complaint.  

A spokesman for the Transport Security Administration (TSA) said that security camera footage confirmed nothing out of the ordinary had happened.  TSA spokesman Mike England said “TSA takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and strives to treat every passenger with dignity and respect.  Upon review of closed circuit TV footage, TSA determined that the supervised officer followed standard operating procedures in the screening of this individual.”

An official explained it was normal for a second person to be involved in the screening procedure.  “During the screening process, if an anomaly is detected, secondary screening is required to ensure the passenger does not have threat items, such as explosives, concealed under clothing,” said the official.  “TSA works with numerous groups to continuously refine and enhance our procedures to improve the passenger experience while also ensuring the safety of the traveling public.”