Dave Lee Travis trial: Former employee says BBC 'slammed the door in her face' after she complained about DJ
Woman tells court she was assaulted by veteran DJ live on air
Thursday 23 January 2014
A former BBC employee said the corporation “slammed the door in [her] face” after she tried to complain that Dave Lee Travis had assaulted her live on air in the 1970s, a court has heard.
The unnamed woman told London's Southwark Crown Court she was too embarrassed to tell anyone at the time in the 1970s, but tried to complain to the BBC after allegations about Jimmy Savile were publicised.
She told jurors: “They said we are not taking calls of this nature so I felt like the BBC had slammed the door in my face. I was surprised.”
“To this day I haven't had so much as an acknowledgement, so much as an apology,” she said.
Giving evidence from behind a screen, the woman, who said she was 17 at the time, told the court that Travis invited her into his empty studio while a song was playing.
Former BBC DJ Dave Lee Travis pictured in 1981 She said he turned the lights off before holding her close to him in a slow dance and became aroused before allegedly assaulting her.
Travis, 68, who denies 13 counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault, gave a loud sigh from the dock as the woman said he “caught my eye” as she stood outside the door and asked if she wanted to choose the next track on his drivetime show.
The alleged victim, who had a clerical role at Broadcasting House, said she had been “star-struck” by Travis when she saw him in the studios previously and he twice gave her a lift in his car, which he described as “my big yellow banana”.
She told jurors that after turning the lights out, so that the technical operator in the adjoining studio could not see, he played a “smoochy song” on the national radio station and put his arms out for her to dance with him. She said she felt “confused” as Travis held her close.
“I was struck dumb a bit, I just didn't expect it,” she said, adding, “I wasn't sure what to do.”
She said she was did not know that he had an erection at first, because she was a virgin at the time.
“Then within seconds I just worked it out and I was horrified and I pulled away,” she said.
The woman said that because the studio's red light came on, she felt “trapped” as it meant they were live on air.
She told jurors that Travis then pushed her up against the wall and put his hands in her underwear.
She made her escape when she realised she could reach the handle of the door from where she was, the woman alleged.
The court heard that the woman told a technical operator of the alleged incident afterwards, who replied: “I thought you were a bit brave going in there.”
She also said she felt “naive” and because of the technical operator's reaction, “people would say 'you asked for it going in there'”.
She said that because of his reaction and because she thought people might not believe her, she “didn't tell a soul” about what had happened.
“These DJs were big, big stars,” she told jurors.
“They were like pop stars. There would be crowds of people hanging around outside the building to see them.
”They were like demi-gods."
The alleged victim, who was in her first job, said: ”My heart was banging, I felt sick. It was the first time I'd ever been touched like that in my life.“
Travis, from Buckinghamshire, is charged with 13 counts of indecent assault dating back to 1973 and as recently as 2003. He is also accused of sexual assault in 2008.
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