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Rolf Harris’ lawyer claims alleged victim of child sex abuse showed ‘sexual chemistry’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 May, 2014, 8:40pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 May, 2014, 8:40pm
 

The alleged victim of veteran Australian entertainer Rolf Harris accused him of childhood sexual abuse only after their affair became public, a London court has been told.

The woman, now aged 49, said Harris first abused her as a 13-year-old girl and regularly assaulted her for the next 16 years.

But Harris' defence lawyers said there had been "sexual chemistry" and a consensual relationship which began when she was 18.

"You tried to absolve yourself of blame and say Rolf Harris had abused you, when in fact you had a consensual relationship," said Sonia Woodley.

"Once you had told that story you had to stick with it," she added, leading cross-examination at Southwark Crown Court.

A global star of family TV entertainment for more than 50 years, Harris, 84, is on trial charged with 12 counts of indecent assault against four girls between 1968 and 1986. The youngest of them was aged just seven or eight at the time of the alleged offence.

He denies all charges.

He is the biggest name to go on trial since British police launched a major investigation after revelations that the late BBC TV host Jimmy Savile was a prolific child sex abuser, leading to the arrest of a dozen older celebrities.

Woodley said that the woman had flirted with Harris and had had an adult relationship with the entertainer, known for his work as a TV presenter and a string of pop-music hits.

Referring to an alleged incident at the Harris family home in Berkshire, southern England, she said: "Once again there was a sexual chemistry between the two of you ... One thing led to another.

"You have said this happened when you were much younger and not consenting. In fact it happened when you were older and were consenting."

The woman said that after 16 years of abuse she was drinking heavily and unable to refuse Harris and that all subsequent sexual activity was without her consent.

She added: "I didn't really have any resistance ... I was in an alcohol-induced state whenever he was around. I just went along with it because I was scared of him."

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