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

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