Dave Lee Travis trial: DJ says sexual assault claims made him 'mad as hell'

Former DJ says woman accusing him of assaulting her live on air is 'a liar'

Former Radio One disc jockey Dave Lee Travis has told a court it is "absolutely 100 per cent wrong" that he thought it acceptable to grab women's breasts and bottoms during his 1970s and 1980s heyday.

The former BBC presenter, known as DLT, has repeatedly denied indecently assaulting 10 women and sexually assaulting another during his trial at London's Southwark Crown Court.

As cross-examination by prosecutor Miranda Moore QC got under way, Travis, 68, was asked about comments he made to police and the press that "flirtatious" behaviour was the norm during the period and he would have admitted it if he had touched women inappropriately.

Travis, who said he thought the allegations against him were simply part of a "witch hunt" at first, said his comments had been taken out of context and his saying that things were different during the period in question was not in reference to the allegations.

He told jurors: "These are things that have happened in the 1970s and 1980s and on that basis I said then, and I'm still saying it, it was just flirtatious behaviour at the time, not that it was just flirtatious at the time and I partook of it, because I still don't like the idea of doing that."

Travis said the claims against him had made him "as mad as hell".

Ms Moore asked: "Were you mad as hell because you were doing this sort of thing for years and years thinking that it was perfectly all right, when it fact it wasn't?"

"No," Travis replied.

Ms Moore asked whether Travis actually thought it "entirely acceptable" to touch women in this way.

"No, that is absolutely 100 per cent wrong," he said.

Asked by Ms Moore whether he thought it acceptable to touch women at the time, Travis told jurors: "If patting somebody's bottom was a crime in the 1970s then half the country would be in jail by then I suppose."

Questioned about allegations he assaulted a teenage girl during his Radio 1 show, Travis said: "This did not happen."

Ms Moore asked him whether it would have been possible for him to turn the red light on in the studio so the girl thought they were live on air, without listeners actually being able to hear them.

Sounding exasperated, Travis said: "You know I'd like to be able to answer all your questions but I've already answered you that question in as much as this did not happen, so I can't tell you if I did open the fader or did not open the fader..."

Asked about the woman who made the claims, Travis told jurors: "She's a liar."

Asked about the attention he received from female fans, Travis admitted that he had on occasion fallen to "temptation" but complained that it was unfair for his sex life to be "dragged into the public arena".

"I don't expect consensual sex or consensual kissing to brought up in a case where I am accused of indecently assaulting women," he said.

Ms Moore asked whether Travis thought of himself as a sex symbol.

"Your public persona was big, hairy, jokey, hahaha, you were not really a sex symbol, were you?" Ms Moore said.

"I have never said, in my life, that I am a sex symbol. No, I am a big hairy, cuddly bear," Travis replied.

He said he took it as "personal insult" that Ms Moore said he was not considered a sex symbol, joking that he thought he was "fair to middling".

He added that he had "no idea" why 16 women had come forward to make complaints against him.

The defendant denied assaulting them or undermining women at work in any way but admitted he may have "irritated" some women.

Asked about the allegations that he had indecently assaulted a young woman whilst on a visit to a hospital radio station, he suggested the woman could be a "fantasist".

"I don't know what's going on in her mind," he said.

"She may have fantasised about something but this whole situation that you are talking about at this hospital has to be considered complete nonsense. It's not on."

When Ms Moore said he was not telling the truth, he said: "Oh my god, I don't understand."

He added that he knew it was her job to "belittle me and tell the jury that I am a terrible person".

Travis claimed that, due to his professional experience, he would never have groped a woman while on a job, telling Ms Moore: "Please don't treat me as a fool."

"I have a lot of knowledge, I am a sensible person, I know what I am doing and I know when I should not cross the line with someone," he said.

Travis looked visibly angry when Ms Moore asked if his wife, Marianne, would be coming to court to give evidence about the visit to the hospital, at which she had been present.

"The last thing I want is for my wife to be in the middle of this melee - she has suffered enough nonsense," he said.

He admitted that he thought it was easy for women to come forward to get "cash for a story".

"I have also said that I like them, I feel sorry for them and this is short-changing women who have been genuinely attacked."

Travis also said reports of comments he made about his attitude to women were inaccurate.

"I didn't say I loved women's bodies," he said.

"I said I loved women generally. I never said the words 'I love big boobs' either," he told jurors.

Travis, from Buckinghamshire, denies 13 indecent assaults and one sexual assault dating back to 1976, when he was at the height of his fame.

Appearing under his birth name David Griffin, Travis faces charges relating to offences alleged to have occurred when he was working as a BBC DJ, as a broadcaster with Classic Gold radio, while appearing on "Top Of The Pops" and when starring in pantomimes. He has denied all the charges. The trial continues.

PA

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?