Rolf Harris warned daughter's friend he abused to 'tread carefully'
Disgraced paedophile Rolf Harris, 93, warned his daughter’s friend to ‘tread carefully’ as he abused her – as victims of the convicted sex offender speak out in new ITVX documentary
- Sex abuse victims speak out in new ITVX doc Rolf Harris: Hiding in Plain Sight
- Friend of Harris’ daughter, abused from 13, has spoken out through therapist
- You can call the Rape Crisis sex abuse hotline on: 0808 500 2222
Disgraced paedophile Rolf Harris warned his daughter’s friend who he was abusing to ‘tread carefully’ according to a new ITVX documentary in which his victims speak out.
Australian-born Harris was a family favourite in the UK for decades before he was convicted of 12 indecent assaults at London’s Southwark Crown Court in June 2014 – which included a catalogue of abuse against his daughter’s friend over 16 years.
The victim has given permission for the impact of her abuse to be told through her psychotherapist Chip Somers in new ITV series Rolf Harris: Hiding In Plain Sight which documents the rise and fall of the TV host, entertainer and artist.
It was revealed last year that Harris can no longer talk or eat and requires around the clock care after being diagnosed with neck cancer.
Neighbours and friends said the convicted sex offender had become ‘gravely sick’ after his release from prison in 2017.
Disgraced paedophile Rolf Harris (pictured) warned his daughter’s friend who he was abusing to ‘tread carefully’ – as his victims speak out in a new ITVX documentary
Rolf Harris (centre) arrives at Southwark Crown Court accompanied by daughter Bindi (left) and niece Jenny (right) on June 25, 2014 in London
Harris now lives a reclusive life in the village of Bray, Berkshire with his wife Alwen Hughes, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
READ MORE: Rolf Harris sued by woman who claims he molested her at an Australian adventure camp in 1982 when she was ten
He is also being sued by an alleged victim who claims sexually assaulted her at an Australian adventure camp when she was ten years old.
The alleged victim claimed Harris, 92, molested her while she was at a school holiday camp in Melbourne in 1982.
Now, another woman has claimed she was sexually assaulted by the disgraced children’s entertainer when she was aged 10 and in foster care.
The two-part documentary will hear how the woman went to Mr Somers in the late 1990s for help with an alcohol problem before it ‘became apparent that there was a huge secret that she was holding on to’.
Mr Somers explains: ‘She told me she had been sexually abused by Rolf Harris from the age of 13, and this went on for a number of years.
‘Her choice was to not say anything about it, but it caused her a lot of trauma and was instrumental in causing her to misuse alcohol as a way of anaesthetising that trauma… a momentary respite from having to carry that burden all the time.’
As her relationship with Harris became more intimate, Mr Somers says Harris was clear in his message to her: ‘She is also quite clearly told, “This is something that you cannot talk about. Do not tell anybody about this. This is our little secret. I am a powerful person, I have money, so tread carefully”.’
The psychotherapist added: ‘She was having to carry this incredible secret, this incredible burden, this incredible sense of guilt and disgust and hatred of what is happening to her.
‘Trauma thrives in darkness and Rolf Harris made quite sure that she was shrouded in darkness.’
The programme will also feature alleged victims Suzi Dent and Karen Gardner, who waived their right to anonymity.
In the first episode of the two-part series, Australian make-up artist Ms Dent alleges Harris sexually assaulted her when she was 23 and working on a programme he appeared on in 1985.
Ms Gardner alleges she was assaulted three times in plain sight in the space of 35 minutes at the age of 16 when she was carrying Harris’s bag on the set of Star Games in Cambridge in 1978.
Ms Gardner says: ‘He said to me, “You’re irresistible”. I was 16. He was 48. He was 10 years older than my dad.’
Rolf Harris (pictured performing in the early 1970s) was a much-loved entertainer in Australia and the UK until his arrest in 2013
Australian make-up artist Suzi Dent (pictured) alleges Harris sexually assaulted her when she was 23 and working on a programme he appeared on in 1985
Harris was acquitted of assaulting Ms Gardner after the jury could not reach a verdict at two trials, and Ms Dent’s allegations of assault were not tried in court because they occurred outside the UK.
Harris, now 93, was convicted of 12 indecent assaults at London’s Southwark Crown Court in June 2014.
These included one on an eight-year-old autograph hunter, two on girls in their early teens, and a catalogue of abuse against his daughter’s friend over 16 years.
Following his conviction, Harris was stripped of his CBE – which he received after painting the Queen’s 80th birthday portrait.
In May 2017 he was formally cleared of four unconnected historical sex offences, which he had denied.
Later the same year, one of the 12 indecent assault convictions was overturned by the Court of Appeal.
Rolf Harris: Hiding In Plain Sight will air on ITVX from May 18.
You can call the Rape Crisis sex abuse hotline on: 0808 500 2222
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