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'Jealous woman flirted with Harris'

An alleged victim of Rolf Harris flirted with him because she was jealous that his daughter had become closer to another friend, a court has heard.

Jurors at London's Southwark Crown Court were told that the woman flirted with the veteran entertainer, encouraging him to sit on the bed she was in as he brought her a cup of tea.

"Sexual chemistry" developed between them, leading to consensual sexual encounters, it was claimed as the woman faced cross-examination today.

The woman, who was a friend of Harris's daughter Bindi, has claimed the star abused her from the age of 13, when he first assaulted her on a holiday in Hawaii, and there were sexual encounters between the pair until she was 28.

Harris faces 12 charges of indecent assault - seven relating to the woman.

His defence barrister Sonia Woodley QC said the girl became jealous after she and Bindi drifted apart when the Harrises moved away, and also because of Bindi's friendship with another girl.

Ms Woodley said on one occasion the woman actively flirted with Harris, guiding him to sit on the bed she was in. She said: "You and Bindi were drifting apart, partly because of the distance between where you both lived and partly, I suggest, because of your jealousy over her friendship with Karen."

The barrister added: "I suggest that because you were jealous over Karen, you flirted with Rolf Harris. You grabbed his elbow, guiding him to sit on the bed."

The jury was told that "sexual chemistry" developed between the pair when the woman stayed at Harris's Berkshire home for a second time.

Ms Woodley said: "There was a second occasion when you came over to stay the night and once again he brought you a cup of tea in the morning. There was sexual chemistry between the two of you."

The woman replied: "No, no sexual chemistry at all."

The barrister suggested that there was, that one thing led to another and a sex act took place.

The alleged victim said: "No."

Ms Woodley went on: "Him on you. I suggest that you consented to that, because there was at this stage in your life sexual chemistry between the two of you."

She replied: "No."

It was also claimed that the woman initiated "foreplay" with Harris by "fondling his crotch" before she performed a sex act on him during a drive to London from Bray when she was 22.

Ms Woodley suggested that because she had initiated the foreplay, that was when he pulled over, and the sex act took place.

The woman told the jury that she "didn't consent to it".

Earlier the court heard that the woman's diary of the holiday when she claims the abuse started showed "no hint of unhappiness", with her saying she had a "great" day with the entertainer and his family.

The alleged victim was taken through diary entries from the trip to Hawaii in 1978, where she spent two full days.

Ms Woodley asked her: "No mention in the diary or any hint of anything which had happened to you at the hands of Rolf Harris, is there?"

The woman replied: "I wouldn't have put it in the diary."

When asked: "Was that a happy holiday for you?", she replied: "Basically, yes it was."

Her entry for the first full day there, December 20, said: "Today was great because we went on the beach and went swimming."

Harris, wearing a light grey suit with a white shirt and dark tie, listened to her evidence with the aid of a hearing loop, at times reading court documents.

Yesterday the alleged victim told the court that she started drinking in her early teens, and would drink gin to help control panic attacks and anxiety if she knew she was likely to see Harris.

She told the court she had hidden the symptoms of her panic attacks, such as sweating and shaking, so nobody would know.

The defence barrister also questioned how the woman could apparently remember which hand Harris had touched her with, saying: "How can you remember all these years later whether it was a left or right hand?"

The woman said: "I just do."

Ms Woodley also asked the woman about whether she had visited the Harris home in Bray before or after she was 16.

The barrister said: "It's quite possible that you didn't go there until after you were 16?"

"Quite possible," the woman replied.

The jury of six men and six women heard that Harris's daughter Bindi did not wake up as he allegedly performed oral sex on the woman as she slept in the same room.

The woman said she was silently crying after the claimed abuse and Bindi did not hear anything.

Ms Woodley said to the woman: "During all that time there's Bindi feet away from you, she didn't hear anything according to you? She didn't appear to react in any way?"

She replied: "She didn't react, no," saying that she did not say anything and added that she cried "not during it, afterwards. They were silent tears".


From Belfast Telegraph