Allegations ‘a load of lies’, Max Clifford tells court
PR guru accused of 11 counts of indecent assault
Publicist Max Clifford arriving at Southwark Crown Court yesterday. Photograph: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
Publicist Max Clifford has branded allegations that he carried out a catalogue of indecent assaults on different women “ridiculous” and “ a load of lies” as he returned to the witness box for a second day.
The 70-year-old is standing trial accused of 11 counts of indecent assault against seven girls and women, all of which he denies. Giving evidence at Southwark Crown Court, he denied ever meeting many of the women, and dismissed their claims as completely untrue.
One alleged victim claims she met Mr Clifford on holiday in Torremolinos, Spain, in 1977, and he kept in touch with her family, coming to her house and taking her out in his car after she returned to the UK, where he would persuade her to perform sexual acts on him.
But under questioning from his defence barrister, Richard Horwell QC, Mr Clifford said: “That’s totally and utterly untrue. It just doesn’t make any sense at all. If I wanted to have a relationship with someone, there were hotels, there were places where I had already been in relationships.
“And what is the satisfaction in a car when, according to what she says, I didn’t even ejaculate. Where’s the stimulation in that? It’s just crazy, it’s a load of lies.”
Asked if he was ever sexually interested in a 15-year-old in 1977 or 1978, he said: “No, it wasn’t me. There were plenty of people I knew who were into young girls etc etc but it’s never been me.”
Mr Clifford said he holidayed in Torremolinos in 1977 and had gone with singer Tom Waits, who performed there, but he said he did not recall meeting the girl and her family.
The veteran celebrity agent also denied recognising the name of another of his alleged victims, who claimed that she worked in the same office as him in central London, and that he pushed her up against the wall in a corridor in his office and tried to assault her in 1975.
But he claimed there was no corridor, and told the jury that the diagram she drew of his office bore “no resemblance” to his office in New Bond Street.
“This isn’t my office, I don’t know the girl and none of these people that she says she worked for in my office I don’t know at all, and they don’t know me.”
A third woman claimed she had spent about six hours alone with Clifford in his office before he groped her in a taxi to London Bridge, but he again dismissed this as “ridiculous”.
“There were people coming in and out of my office all the time, so for it to have been empty for six hours in the middle of the day at a busy working time is absolutely ridiculous,” Mr Clifford said.
Another victim claims she was assaulted by Mr Clifford at his offices after getting a part as an extra in the James Bond film Octopussy . But he told the court the only involvement he had with someone connected to the film was with gymnast Suzanne Dando, whose profile he was helping to promote.