Savile 'groped' The Office actor
TV actress Julie Fernandez told today how she had been a victim of Jimmy Savile’s groping when she appeared on one of his TV shows at the age of 14.
The disabled star, who appeared in sitcom The Office, said his hands lingered “in places they shouldn’t” when she took part in an edition of Jim’ll Fix It along with other children from her boarding school.
Fernandez (38) told Radio 5 Live breakfast show presenter Nicky Campbell she and her friends often spoke of the incident afterwards but she said she was unsure why she did not tell any adults about it.
She had been positioned next to Savile in the studio after writing to the show on behalf of her friends at Treloar School in Hampshire.
“I was in my wheelchair, but I just remember his hands being everywhere and just lingering those two, three, four seconds slightly too long in places they shouldn’t. But it wasn’t particularly obvious either.
“It was in a busy room full of people in a studio so it was quite discreetly done and you don’t kind of realise what’s happening at the time, especially when you’re 14 and it’s the first time you’ve ever been in a studio and you’re very excited. But I do remember feeling uncomfortable and he had these huge rings on
his fingers.” Fernandez said she felt like “slapping his hand away”.
She went on: “I’m lucky that it didn’t actually get any more than that but I do remember it all that time ago and it was in 1988, I believe.
“My classmates, we all made a joke of it afterwards for years, but we didn’t really bring it up to any adult and I don’t know why, actually.”
Fernandez, who also appeared in BBC1’s Eldorado and is a disability rights campaigner, said people were probably afraid to speak out against a prominent figure.
“He was a great fundraiser and all of these things, so possibly people didn’t want to say negative things about him. Maybe they didn’t think they would be believed.
“It’s a predatory behaviour and it’s a bad, bad behaviour. And what’s really annoying is, he’s now dead and what can we do?” she added.