Arcadia boss Philip Green charged with four counts of assault in US

Pilates instructor has alleged that UK businessman repeatedly touched her inappropriately during classes in a luxury resort in Tucson in 2016 and 2018

British retailer and Arcadia Group chief Philip Green smiles as he attends the opening ceremony of a Topshop flagship store in Hong Kong in 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files

British retailer and Arcadia Group chief Philip Green smiles as he attends the opening ceremony of a Topshop flagship store in Hong Kong in 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files

 

Sir Philip Green has been charged with four counts of misdemeanour assault in the US after a Pilates instructor alleged the Arcadia mogul repeatedly touched her inappropriately, prosecutors have said.

Katie Surridge told police in Arizona that Sir Philip spanked and grabbed her backside during classes in the Canyon Ranch luxury resort in Tucson in 2016 and 2018.

Pima County Attorney’s Office said on Friday that he has been charged with four counts of knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke.

Deputy county attorney Lauren Deakin told the Press Association: “Philip Green has been formally charged with four misdemeanour assault counts.

“These are class three misdemeanours. Each count has a potential sentence of up to 30 days in the Pima County jail, a fine of not more than $500, and up to one year of probation.”

An arraignment date has been set for June 19th, she added.

Sir Philip, 67, has previously denied the allegations investigated by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

The mother-of-three, who is in her 30s, told detectives in a police interview obtained by PA that the “creepy old man” had “vigorously” slapped her bottom up to 10 times in January 2016.

She alleged she was worried about frustrating a “high roller” at the resort but decided to speak to management who said they spoke to Sir Philip and reassured her it would not happen again.

But Ms Surridge told police that Sir Philip came back for another class in January 2018.

“This time, instead of slapping my butt, he puts his hands, like, he wraps his hands around my waist and then grabs my butt cheek and just puts his hand there and just holds it there as he’s hugging me,” she said.

He went on to make uncomfortable comments and pat her exposed stomach as she demonstrated an exercise, she alleged.

“And then the session ended and I immediately went upstairs to (management’s) office and I was in tears and I said, ‘He was told never to touch me again and here he is touching me again’,” she told police.

Independent witness

A homeowner at the resort, described by police as an independent witness, gave an account to the detective of what she claims to have seen in 2016.

Before the charging decision had been revealed, Sir Philip declined to comment on the statements made to police.

He told PA: “I haven’t seen any papers, so I don’t know what papers you’re talking about, or when they came, or what you’ve got.

“So, as far as I’m concerned, I’ve got no comment to make.”

A spokesman for Sir Philip previously denied the claims and said an investigation by the ranch found nothing against Sir Philip and the matter was dropped.

The charges come during a turbulent time for the retail mogul.

He has been told to pour millions into his retail business Arcadia’s pension fund, as 50 stores are set to close, jeopardising hundreds of jobs.

The Croydon-born entrepreneur has also denied his behaviour was criminal or amounted to gross misconduct in the wake of a slew of allegations, including of groping a female executive and making a racial slur at an employee.

- PA