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'Groped' TV personality wanted to give her testimony from behind a screen

A BRITISH TV personality was among seven other women who claimed Rolf Harris had groped them, but their evidence was not allowed to form part of the prosecution case at his trial.

The unnamed woman had wanted to speak about allegations she was molested by the presenter anonymously from behind a screen. Details emerged during pre-trial hearings, but were not put to jurors and can only now be reported.

Prosecuting, Sasha Wass said the woman was taking part in an interview with the Australian in a "very public place"in 1996 when he assaulted her, but did not mention the claim to anyone at the time.

Ms Wass told the hearing: "The alleged incident took place with the defendant's hands going over her clothing and up her thigh and higher still when she abruptly drew the interview to a halt. He cupped her buttocks which she describes as groping."

The interview then came to a halt, she said.

Another evidence ruled inadmissible at Harris's trial included a woman who said she met Harris in 1977 aged 14 at a motel near Sydney. It is claimed he touched her bottom and waist, before pushing her up against a door and saying: "Rolfie deserves a cuddle". He then allegedly followed her to the lift and touched her breasts, trying to stop her leaving.

In 2005, it is also claimed Harris grabbed a woman who was working at a pub where a party was being held for broadcaster Michael Parkinson and started to kiss her neck in front of his wife, Alwen.

A fourth woman said she met Harris while being interviewed by the BBC during her art class at a leisure centre in Belfast in 1991. She said he forced his tongue into her mouth. Another woman, then 13 or 14, claimed he made lewd comments during an event near his Berkshire home.

A 24-year-old woman alleged that while she was on holiday in 1999 Harris touched her breasts and got into her bed for a sexual encounter. Another woman, then aged 20, said Harris touched her bottom during a photocall in London.

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