UK & World News

  • 7 April 2014, 16:14

Max Clifford Trial: Pauline Quirke Evidence

Birds of a Feather star Pauline Quirke has described publicist Max Clifford as an "honest and decent man" as the trial enters its closing stages.

Clifford, who turned 71 at the weekend, is accused of indecently assaulting a string of women in his car and his office, some after saying he could get them roles in the entertainment world.

However, Ms Quirke told Southwark Crown Court that the PR guru was nothing like the description that jurors have heard and she told how they worked together to raise funds for charity.

The actress who has also starred in Emmerdale and Broadchurch said that her friendship with him "grew from their connection" to the Rhys Daniels Trust which was set up in the 1990s to help a boy of the same name with Batten's Disease.

Ms Quirke said: "We went to each other's houses and we went out for dinner to restaurants. He came when I was on tour for two years with Birds of a Feather.

"The word integrity comes to mind when I think of Max - he's very down to Earth and normal considering the business that we are both involved in.

"He's a decent, decent man, honest and decent."

When asked by his defence barrister Richard Horwell QC if she had ever seen him "acting inappropriately with women" she replied: "We've been to balls with lots of women, people drinking and I've never seen him doing anything like that.

"I've never seen him behave in any way, shape or form like that."

Ms Quirke added that Clifford had helped raise money for the Trust by bringing stars to a celebrity screening of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and as a result they became "good friends".

As she left court, Clifford, who was dressed in a white open shirt and blue suit, winked and smiled at her.

Earlier, Sky Sports anchor Clare Thomlinson, who worked for Clifford in the early 1990s for six months said she had "no reason to doubt his integrity and honesty", adding that she had left his office on "amicable terms".

She said: "Max had an old school charm, he would open the door for you and ask how you would get home from a late function."

Ms Thomlinson, who was at the centre of sexual harassment claims from disgraced former commentators Richard Keys and Andy Gray, told the court the experience had made her want to testify in the case.

She said: "I have been the victim of sexual harassment at work and I would not be giving evidence in front of a court if I had believed Max was capable of that sort of behaviour."

Clifford, of Hersham, Surrey, denies 11 counts of indecent assault against seven women between 1966 and 1984. His defence is expected to finish on Tuesday when the case continues.

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