Rolf Harris trial: Accuser denies 'making up' allegations

Rolf Harris's defence lawyer has been cross-examining the witness

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A woman who says Rolf Harris abused her from when she was a teenager has denied they had a consensual relationship and that she made up the allegations.

Under cross-examination at Southwark Crown Court, the woman denied defence claims that "sexual chemistry" had developed between herself and the TV entertainer by the time she was 18.

She also denied "flirting" with Mr Harris - a childhood friend's father.

Mr Harris, 84, denies 12 charges of indecent assault against four girls.

'Absolve from blame'

The Australian artist is accused of indecently assaulting four girls, aged between seven or eight and 19, from 1968 to 1986.

Seven of the 12 counts relate to the woman, who was a childhood friend of Bindi Harris.

Sonia Woodley QC, defence counsel, said the woman made up the allegations about Mr Harris abusing her to avoid being blamed for their consensual affair.

"What you did was to try and absolve yourself from blame and say that Rolf Harris had abused you, when in fact you knew perfectly well that you had a consensual relationship with him," said Ms Woodley.

"Once you had told that story you had to stick with it, didn't you?"

Rolf Harris court sketch Southwark Crown Court heard claims Mr Harris first abused the witness while on holiday in 1978

The woman replied: "No,".

She said that she "went along" with Mr Harris's advances when she was an adult because she was scared of him, and was at that stage an alcoholic.

Describing an alleged incident that took place at the woman's home when she was 28 or 29, she told the court she had only invited Mr Harris there because she wanted to talk to him about Bindi.

Ms Woodley asked the woman why she did not tell Mr Harris "mind your own business" when he asked where her bedroom was.

The witness replied: "I was drunk at the time. I was an alcoholic."

When Ms Woodley claimed the sex act that then took place was with the woman's consent, she replied: "I was drunk, I was frightened. I never said no to him."

'Jealous'

The witness was also asked about an alleged assault during a visit to the Harris family at their home in Bray, Berkshire, when she was 18.

She claimed she was staying with the Harris family at their home and says Mr Harris performed a sex act on her after bringing her a cup of tea in the morning.

However, Ms Woodley said "sexual chemistry" had developed between the pair and said the witness had been flirting with Mr Harris because she was jealous that Bindi had become closer to another friend.

"I suggest that you consented to that, because there was at this stage in your life sexual chemistry between the two of you," said Ms Woodley.

The witness replied: "No."

Rolf Harris arrives at court with his daughter Bindi and wife Alwen Hughes Rolf Harris denies all of the allegations against him

The woman also told the jury she had never tried to profit financially as a result of what had happened between her and Mr Harris.

Ms Woodley claimed the woman had told Mr Harris to "keep (his) eyes on the papers" after one occasion when he visited at her home, but the witness denied that, describing it as "totally wrong".

The court had heard earlier that the woman accused Mr Harris of assaulting her while on holiday with his family but showed "no hint of unhappiness" in a diary from the trip.

She claims Mr Harris first abused her during the holiday, when she was 13, but said she would not have mentioned it in her diary.

In evidence, she previously told the court that she was scared of Mr Harris and that his actions were "creepy".

Snorkelling

Ms Woodley asked her: "You were going across the world with a man you were scared of and who was creepy. Why on earth did you go?"

"Because I wanted to go with Bindi," she replied and added that she "thought that Rolf wouldn't be around too much".

The witness was asked about one allegation - that Mr Harris indecently assaulted her under her towel after they had been snorkelling.

Asked why she had made no reference to the incident with Mr Harris in the diary, she said: "The day was great up until he got the towel and fondled me."

The woman claimed the first time Mr Harris assaulted her was after she had just got out of the shower in her hotel bedroom during the same holiday.

Ms Woodley put it to her that "nothing of that nature happened at all" but the witness maintained that it did.

The alleged assaults happened before such offences abroad could be prosecuted in the UK, so are not among the charges against Mr Harris.

The witness claims Mr Harris continued to abuse her for a number of years after the holiday, at her home as well as his.

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