‘It takes two to tango’: What Rolf Harris ‘told brother of girl he had been molesting since she was 13 when he confronted him’
- Harris is accused of repeatedly attacked daughter’s friend from the age of 13
- Southwark Crown Court hears she told a schoolfriend he was a ‘dirty old man’ who would make her sit on his lap and grope her
- Brother says he phoned Harris, 84, and berated him after discovering abuse
- Mother ‘was never worried about the children’s entertainer due to his fame’
- He would be alone with the teenager for up to an hour at a time, court hears
- Her father ‘wrote Harris a furious letter cutting off all ties with him’
- Girl said she didn’t want to go to the police in order to avoid publicity
Rolf Harris told the brother of a teenage girl he allegedly molested that ‘it takes two to tango’ when he confronted him about the abuse, a court heard today.
The girl, who says she was abused by the children’s entertainer from the age of 13, apparently told a schoolfriend that Harris was a ‘dirty old man’ who had made her sit on his lap as he groped her.
However, her mother told Southwark Crown Court that she was not worried when he spent up to an hour alone with the girl because of his fame as a singer and TV presenter.
The brother of the alleged victim told jurors that he called Harris, 84, on the telephone after his sister confided in him.
‘When I phoned I was angry,’ he said. ‘I asked him not to contact my sister again and I threatened physical violence.
‘I said, “You’ve been abusing my sister.” He said: “It takes two to tango.” The conversation didn’t go on much after that.’
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Trial: Rolf Harris pictured arriving at Southwark Crown Court today with his daughter Bindi, left, and his niece Jenny, right
He said he was told about the abuse when his sister turned up to Sunday lunch with their parents drunk in the mid-1990s.
‘She arrived, she was intoxicated,’ he told the court. ‘It was obvious that she had been drinking heavily before she arrived, basically was being a pain. I had seen it before and I found it difficult to communicate with her.’
He took her aside and asked why she was drinking so much when she had been so easy-going as a child.
‘I basically said, “Why are you behaving like this? What has changed?” And that is when she confessed that she had been sexually abused.
‘I was angry, I felt guilty – I suppose because I was unaware. Apart from the deterioration in her condition, I didn’t understand why she was behaving like that and why she was doing that to herself.’
The girl’s mother said that on one occasion Harris spent around half an hour to an hour upstairs with her daughter, then aged 14 or 15.
The woman has told jurors that Harris sexually assaulted her upstairs in her home when her parents were downstairs.
Her mother told the court: ‘Rolf would occasionally come round and say where was my daughter and go and see her upstairs.
Arrival: Harris adjusts his jacket as he arrives for the latest day of his indecent assault trial
‘I remember it once certainly. It was a morning visit, it was just Rolf on his own. He just said “Where’s my daughter?” and I said upstairs.’
She said Harris went alone, but as he was a children’s entertainer she had ‘no concerns’.
She added: ‘I trusted him. You just don’t expect those sort of things.’
The mother did not notice anything untoward about her daughter when she came downstairs, the court heard.
Her daughter finally told her mother of the alleged abuse years later when she confronted her about her drinking.
She told the court: ‘I got very angry with her about her drinking, I just said: “This is not on, it’s ridiculous, you cannot go on like this.”
‘She said, “I’ve been abused all my life.” I was amazed. I said, “What do you mean?”
‘She said, “I was abused by a schoolfriend’s father.” She wouldn’t tell me who but I would not budge until she told me. She then said Rolf.’
‘She didn’t give any details about what happened. She said it started when she was much younger but she wouldn’t give much detail then.’
When she asked her daughter why she hadn’t told her before, she replied, ‘You wouldn’t have believed me,’ the court heard.
The mother later told other members of her family and a few months later she spoke to Harris’ wife.
‘He was a well loved celebrity. He was one of those people I would never imagine in a million years. I just felt horrified on her behalf.’
Note: Harris sent this light-hearted note to his alleged victim, the court heard
The girl told a ‘horrified’ schoolfriend about the alleged sexual assaults when they were both about 16, the court heard.
The friend said today: ‘What she described was that he used to get her to sit on her lap and then touch her up.
‘She didn’t go into description but said he used to feel her up. It was a shocking conversation.
The alleged victim, who is now in her 40s, has previously told the court that Harris started sexually abusing her at the age of 13 and that it continued for 16 years.
The former schoolfriend said that they next spoke about the alleged abuse by phone several years later when she was living abroad.
The friend said: ‘She told me she had been receiving counselling because of difficulties with drinking. Through the counselling issues from the past had come up.
‘She told me that Rolf Harris had been abusing her through her teens. She said at the age of 13 or 14 she used to sit on his lap and he would feel her up.
‘She said that Rolf Harris had sexually abused her over many years and she didn’t want to go into details over the phone.
‘She had told her parents. As to anyone else, I don’t know. Bindi had obviously known about it for some time.’
The friend advised her to go the police, but added: ‘She didn’t want to do that. She knew that it would become a bit of a media circus.’
Testimony: Harris listening to the evidence with the help of a hearing device
The court was read a number of witness statements from mental health professionals, saying that the alleged victim had sought help for her alcohol dependency and other issues.
‘It was very clear the abuse had caused her alcohol problem and had ruined her life,’ one counsellor said. ‘I got the impression that she was overwhelmed by his charisma and his celebrity status and didn’t feel that she could say no to him.’
Another testified that the woman had contacted her in the wake of revelations about Jimmy Savile’s sex abuse, ‘which made her reflect on her own position’.
A former teacher at the alleged victim’s school told the court said she was once discussed at a staff meeting.
Notes from the meeting said: ‘She is prone to tears because of private/home life matters. Her friends have looked after her although they find her hard to understand.’
The teacher said that for her to have made those comments, she must have been having ‘extreme emotional difficulties.’
Yesterday it emerged that Harris had sent his alleged victim a jokey greeting card saying: ‘When it comes to having sex, if at first you don’t succeed, beg.’
He also sent an eight-page note to the girl’s father, in which he begged for forgiveness for ‘harming’ her.
Harris is accused of preying on four women between 1968 and 1986.
He denies 12 charges of indecent assault.
The trial continues.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2628051/It-takes-two-tango-What-Rolf-Harris-told-brother-girl-molesting-13-confronted-him.html#ixzz31i9Td7Hr
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