Max Clifford trial: Girl, 14, ‘feared he was going to rape her’

He offered her the chance to meet pop heroes then tried to force himself on her, court is told

A 14-year-old schoolgirl feared that the “nerdy” and “repulsive” celebrity publicist Max Clifford was going to rape her after trying to seduce her with an offer of meeting pop group The Walker Brothers in the mid-1960s, a court heard on Monday.

The woman, now in her sixties, said she had accepted his offer of a lift to her home from a Wimpy  in south-west London. However, she said, Mr Clifford, then in his early twenties, drove the opposite way from her parents’ house and stopped in an alleyway. Mr Clifford, whose clients have included Simon Cowell, Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando, is accused of indecently assaulting her, jurors at Southwark Crown Court were told.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court he showed her a book of photographs of him with celebrities including the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. She said she would like to meet The Walker Brothers.

“He said: ‘I can arrange that, but this is what you’ve got to do’, and he put my seat right back and then he tried to force himself upon me, basically,” she said. “My seat, I think it went almost horizontal, that’s the way it seemed, he then sort of lunged at me and put his body on me. He was touching me all over. It was quite obvious what he wanted to do. I thought at the time I was going to get raped if I didn’t get out of the car, I was just thinking about escape.”

She told the court she managed to open the car door and wriggle free and ran home. The jury heard how she had told friends about what happened over the years, but did not go to the police until recently.

“I didn’t really want to tell my parents about it because I think they would have locked me in forever then, because they were quite strict anyway,” she told the jury. “I was just so happy to be in one piece. I didn’t know at the time if I was going to get raped or murdered. If someone starts driving in the opposite direction of where you are, you think: ‘I’m in trouble.’”

Clifford, 70, from Hersham in Surrey, is accused of 11 counts of indecent assault against seven women and girls. He denies all the charges.

In cross-examination by Richard Horwell QC, the court heard that the woman had described Clifford as “nerdy” because he wore a suit. She said in a witness statement that she was “actually repulsed by him because he didn’t fit in”. She also told the jury that he “wasn’t very popular”.

The court heard that she could not remember any details of Clifford’s car and was unsure if the alleged incident had taken place in 1966 or 1967. Mr Horwell told the witness: “I suggest… that none of this ever happened. That in 1966 Max Clifford did not have a car, he did not have access to a car. This never happened did it?” She replied: “It did happen.”

Jurors also heard from several of the woman’s friends who said she had confided in them. One, a manager of retirement flats, said she had told her Clifford had “tried it on” after offering her a lift, and the woman had been “disgusted and very frightened” by what happened.

The trial continues.

PA

Read more: Clifford used Bond Street office as a 'sexual fiefdom', court hears
Max Clifford pleads not guilty to 11 sex abuse charges
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones