UK & World News

  • 28 May 2014, 3:29

Harris 'Had Sexual Affair' With Complainant

Entertainer Rolf Harris has admitted in court that he is a "touchy feely sort of person" but denied ever indecently assaulting women.

Harris, 84, was giving evidence at his trial where he is accused of targeting four victims including a friend of his daughter Bindi.

Dressed in a dark pin-striped suit and tie he was specifically asked about the allegation involving his daughter's friend during a family holiday in 1978.

Southwark Crown Court heard the woman was 13 when Harris allegedly assaulted her in a Hawaii hotel room after she took a shower, and on a beach.

She has told the court she was assaulted by Harris in Australia later on the same holiday, claiming he touched her as she lay in bed next to a sleeping Bindi.

Harris said: "I have no recollection of that," adding it "never happened".

His defence barrister Sonia Woodley asked him if he had ever hugged the woman to which he replied: "Yes, I have hugged her. I'm a touchy feely sort of person. I normally hug anyone that I get on on with."

When asked by Ms Woodley if he had ever done it in a sexual way he replied: "No," before going on to deny assaulting the woman after she stepped out of the shower.

Harris said his relationship with the alleged victim "changed slowly" and "became physical" when she turned 18 years old.

Harris admitted he felt "highly embarrassed" by it as well as having a "guilty feeling".

He recalled going into the spare room of his house in Bray to take the alleged victim a cup of tea when she "kicked off the duvet to reveal her bare legs".

He added: "She grabbed my elbow and seemed to indicate she wanted me to sit on the bed, which I did. It seemed to me she was being very flirtatious. 

"It was very flattering, this young lady showing an interest in me."

Harris, who was 53 at the time, said he "touched the outside of her leg" before leaving the room.

He added: "This is all highly embarrassing. I was a married man, she was much younger. I shouldn't have been doing it."

When asked by Ms Woodley if he thought the victim was a "willing participant" he replied "Yes."

He went on to say that a "sexual chemistry" developed between the pair.

Harris insisted she was "willing" and added: "It was illicit, I had a guilty feeling. I was a married man, it was...she was Bindi's friend."

Harris also said the couple had oral sex in a secluded wood near his home and again said the woman had "started it" adding "she instigated the whole thing". 

Harris denies 12 counts of assaulting four women aged between seven or eight and 19 years old between 1968 and 1986.

Earlier he told the court about his showbusiness and singing career, at one point briefly singing his hit song Jake The Peg.

There was laughter in court as he imitated the noise of his trademark "wobble board" and moved his arms to show the technique.

Ms Woodley told the jury Harris had two paintings exhibited at the Royal Academy and had painted a portrait of the Queen.

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