Entertainer Rolf Harris tells court of "sexual chemistry" with alleged victim

Tue May 27, 2014 8:39am EDT
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By Jack Stubbs

LONDON (Reuters) - Veteran Australian entertainer Rolf Harris told a jury on Tuesday there had been sexual chemistry between him and a woman who has accused him of sexually abusing her as a child.

Harris, 84, who is accused of abusing the woman for her entire teenage life, said she flirted with him and invited his sexual advances when staying at his home in southern England.

"It seemed to me that she was being very flirtatious with me," he said. "As you can imagine it was a very flattering thing for this young lady to suddenly be showing an interest in me.

"I can remember my heart was thumping away," he said from the witness stand at Southwark Crown Court as he gave evidence for the first time in his indecent assault trial, now in its fourth week.

A mainstay of family entertainment for more than 50 years, Harris is charged with 12 counts of indecent assault against four girls, some as young as seven or eight at the time of the offence, between 1968 and 1986.

He denies all the charges.

Harris 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 ageing celebrities.

The court has previously heard that he first assaulted the woman when she got out of the shower aged 13. He then repeatedly abused her until she was 28 years old, the jury of six men and six women was told.   Continued...

Entertainer Rolf Harris arrives Southwark Crown Court in London May 27, 2014. Harris is charged with indecent assault, and denies the charges. REUTERS/Andrew Winning