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Rolf Harris admired bikini body of girl (13) while on holiday, court hears

By Ellen Branagh and Jennifer Cockerell

Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris has admitted that he admired a 13-year-old friend of his daughter sexually while on holiday.

The 84-year-old conceded that when he complimented the teenager on her bikini during the holiday in the 1970s, he was actually referring to her body.

Harris, who was cross-examined by prosecutor Sasha Wass QC during his second day in the witness box at his indecent assault trial, also admitted having a "darker side" alongside his public persona.

Ms Wass asked Harris: "Do you accept that when a man tells a woman or a girl that they look lovely in a bikini, they are not actually admiring the clothing, but they are admiring the person's body?"

Harris replied: "Possibly."

Ms Wass asked: "What you were saying to (the alleged victim) is 'You have got a great body'."

Harris replied: "I suppose so."

The QC added: "When she was 13?"

Harris answered: "Yes."

Ms Wass said: "And you made it plain to (the alleged victim) on that holiday that you did admire her, admire her body?"

Harris answered: "On one occasion, possibly."

The prosecutor added: "And you admired her sexually, that's what that is."

Harris answered: "It did not compute to that in my mind... in hindsight, I suppose it is."

Ms Wass went on: "It seems from where we are going from your answers to the questions that you admired (the alleged victim's) body sexually during that holiday."

Harris replied: "It's possible, yes."

The prosecutor added: "And, of course, once we work out that you did see (the alleged victim) in a sexual light during that holiday, everything that (she) says becomes realistic, doesn't it?"

Harris replied: "Not as far as I'm concerned, because it never happened."

Referring to his behaviour when the girl has claimed he indecently assaulted her several times, Ms Wass suggested Harris "played with her like she was a toy".

The case continues today.

Background

Former children's TV star Rolf Harris is accused of 12 counts of indecent assault on four alleged victims between 1968 and 1986, all of which he denies. Seven relate to the friend of his daughter.

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