Max Clifford guilty: Why size mattered in the trial evidence
Paul Gallagher is a reporter for the Independent and Independent on Sunday having joined the group in 2012. He has previously worked for the European Voice, Daily Mirror and the Observer and been based in Brussels, Belfast, Tokyo and London.
Monday 28 April 2014
Having sat alongside OJ Simpson at the Oxford Union Debating Society in the 1990s, Max Clifford might have thought that was where the pair’s shared experiences ended. But just as the former American footballer and actor’s murder trial will be remembered for the size of his hand struggling to fit a black glove, so too will Clifford’s trial be remembered for the size of a rather more intimate part of his body.
Thankfully, the jury were not subjected to finding which of his victims were telling the truth about Clifford’s penis. Variously described in court as “micro” and “enormous”, the issue had caused much hilarity with the jury sent out at one point as they fell about laughing after hearing some rather graphic evidence.
One woman, now 48, told the court that when she was an aspiring 17-year-old model Clifford locked his office door, groped her and tried to make her perform oral sex on him.
The court also had heard claims that Clifford’s penis is “tiny” and no more than two-and-a-half inches when erect. The woman disagreed saying his penis was very large. “I had only seen one before, I had never seen one in that proximity and that situation,” she said.
When Richard Horwell QC, defending, asked her to go on the woman remarked: “I have a small mouth. I do, my dentist has always said…” at which point the jury collapsed in fits of giggles.
Judge Anthony Leonard QC sympathised when the jury gathered themselves and were able to return, describing a case he was involved with when a 25-minute break was needed when the judge laughed so much he had tears in his eyes.
Without taking the stand and dropping his trousers, it was left to Dr Ann Coxon to state that she had measured Clifford’s penis when flaccid and found it to be just over five inches.
Clifford’s defence claimed the differing lengths recalled by the women suggest they had not seen the publicist’s penis, while the prosecution said “the length of a penis, to coin a phrase, is in the eye of the beholder”.
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