Harris 'was nicknamed Groper Rolf', indecent assault trial told

Harris 'was nicknamed Groper Rolf', indecent assault trial told

Rolf Harris was nicknamed "Groper Rolf" by a woman who claims he molested her at a celebrity sporting event when she was a teenager, a court has heard.

The woman told the 87-year-old entertainer's indecent assault trial that he twice grabbed her breast and told her she was "a little bit irresistible" during a recording of Star Games in 1978, before running his hand between her upper legs in a taxi.

She said that when the Australian-born entertainer touched her leg over her jeans , she pushed him away saying "f*** off and leave me alone".

Upset by what had happened at the event in Cambridge, when she was 16, she went home and told her father Harris was a "dirty old man" who had touched her, she told the court.

She said her father told her she should not have worn a tight-fitting top to the event.

She told Southwark Crown Court: "I was confused. This was Rolf Harris, my sister and I adored him. I watched him on television and I had had one of those xylophone things a few Christmases before.

"I was shocked and confused. I did feel a bit dirty but I didn't feel it was my fault. I didn't flirt with him. He was old enough to be my grandfather.

"Until very recently I had not talked about it in any detail. But he was called Groper Rolf in our house."

She said she did not alert authorities at the time, adding: "It was 1978. He wasn't the only middle-aged man to have a go at me and my friends.

"If my father's reaction had been a bit dismissive, what would someone who didn't love me say?"

Animal Hospital host Harris is on trial accused of indecently assaulting three teenage girls in the 1970s and 1980s.

He is alleged to have put his hand up the skirt of a 14-year-old when she asked for an autograph at a music event in London in 1971.

He is also alleged to have touched a 13-year-old's breast after filming a children's TV programme in 1983, and to have asked her: "Do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?"

He denies four charges of indecent assault.

The woman said Harris left her "confused" when he first touched her breast as he put his arm around her.

She told the jury that "when a man touched your breast accidentally they apologised, even then", but Harris had not.

She went on: "The second time I remember him coming towards me again and I really didn't want him to do it.

"The second time it was never in doubt that he had done it deliberately.

"He squeezed my breast really hard and it hurt.

"Then he said really quietly to me, 'you are a little bit irresistible'. I don't think anyone else could have heard it, right in my ear."

Stephen Vullo QC, defending Harris, said he disputes that there were any taxis at the site on the day in question.

He asked the woman: "Do you agree you are manipulative? You have manipulated people around you to give evidence to support your claim."

She replied: "Why would I ask people that I love and care for to go through this? It's horrible."

The trial, which is due to last three weeks, continues.

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