Rolf Harris was accused of abuse to cover up affair, court told

Tue May 13, 2014 12:26pm EDT
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By Jack Stubbs

LONDON (Reuters) - The alleged victim of veteran Australian entertainer Rolf Harris accused him of childhood sexual abuse after their affair became public, a London court was told on Tuesday.

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

But Harris's defense counsel 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, defending.

"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, the 84-year-old Harris is on trial charged with 12 counts of indecent assault against four girls between 1968 and 1986, the youngest of whom was aged just seven or eight at the time of the alleged offence.

He denies all the 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 more than a dozen aging celebrities.   Continued...

Entertainer Rolf Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London May 12, 2014.   REUTERS/Andrew Winning