The Transportation Security Administration is investigating after singer Diana Ross alleged she was “violated” by agents at a New Orleans airport this weekend.
Ross was in town to perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Saturday, May 4, and tweeted that she was “treated like royalty” in the Big Easy but “at the airport I was treated like s—.”
“Let me be clear, Not the [people] or Delta BUT TSA , was over the top !!” Ross tweeted Sunday, May 5. “Makes me want to cry !!!”
She went on to explain that an agent at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport made her feel defiled when they performed their check at security, which involved the female agent putting her hands between Ross’ legs.
“Its not what was done but how , I am feeling violated – I still feel her hands between my legs , front and back (saying to me it her job,) WOW!!” the “Upside Down” singer said. “really mixed emotions I always like to see the good things but not feeling good right now.”
Speaking to ABC News Sunday, TSA said their initial review of the security footage captured at the airport shows the officers who conducted Ross’ screening “correctly followed all protocols.”
“TSA is committed to ensuring all travelers are treated with respect and courtesy,” spokesperson Jenny Burke said in a statement emailed to the news organization. “TSA is aware of concerns presented by Diana Ross about her screening experience at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport this morning.
“We encourage Ms. Ross to reach out to TSA so we can further explain our procedures, designed to protect travelers from a persistent threat,” the memo added, noting the agency will continue to investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, fans of Ross have been sympathizing with the Motown icon.
“ Wow! Yeah, that was overkill. Sounds like she was trying to feel you up and had a hidden agenda to me. It’s some sick people out here! Please report her and take some form of legal action against TSA.”
“TSA violated me like this in Miami once when returning from an international flight. I cried and filed a complaint. They responded they were doing their job. I am so sorry and shocked they would do this to you. It feels so violating. I hope you also can file a written complaint.”
“I hope she sues or take any other sort of legal action against them. Whatever shows them this is not acceptable ”
By Sunday, Ross tweeted that she was thankful for security personnel in American airports.
“We are so blessed to have the security that we have at the airports and in our country- this I know. And I appreciate it ‘TOTALLY,'” she said before adding in a separate tweet, “Thank you to all those good and loving people that take care of me and us thank you thank you thank you.”
This is not the first time Ross has had an issue with airport security. In 1999, The Guardian reported the vocalist was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport after taking issue with a female security officer conducting a routine body search. Ross had a problem with the agent supposedly touching her breast as she waited to board her flight to New York.
“How do you like it?” a witness claimed Ross said as she touched the officer’s breast in apparent response.
Racing off to the VIP lounge, she told reporters, “I’m absolutely furious. Do you know when they search you, they actually touch your breast? It’s disgraceful. They wouldn’t touch a man’s penis, would they?”
Ross was held for more than four hours and ultimately released with a warning.
“Police here are wonderful,” she said before riding away from reporters.