Rolf Harris: New Zealand woman makes formal complaint against jailed entertainer

Lee Howden said she had come forward  because she felt for the young victims of Harris

A New Zealand woman has made a formal complaint to police regarding allegations that she was assaulted by the disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris.

The 84-year-old Harris was jailed last week for five years and nine months for a string of indecent assaults against girls as young as seven or eight.

Lee Howden, a make-up artist from Christchurch, told Radio New Zealand that Harris allegedly assaulted her when he was in the city for a television appearance almost 30 years ago. 

She said the incident in the 1980s when she was in her late 20s had left her in “total shock”.

And Howden said she had decided to speak out now because she felt for the young victims of Harris, whom she described as “a total narcissist in denial”. 

“He may have only got a couple of years, but he has given them a life sentence,” Howden said.

“And I guess what’s made me really cross is his inability to apologise to those young women.”

Asked whether she wanted justice for herself, Howden said: “It's not so much justice for me, although yes I do feel like a victim.

”But I was in my late twenties - I want justice for those young women.”

Howden will have a formal interview with police next week.

Her allegations come in the same week that National MP and former broadcaster Maggie Barry revealed that Harris groped her in a recording studio.

Barry said she was “outraged” by the assualt and stopped Harris in his tracks, according to The New Zealand Herald.

The MP has encouraged other victims of Harris to make a formal complaint to police – she said more than a dozen women from the country have approached her to say they  too were sexually assaulted. 

But she said she will not be making a formal complaint herself.

“I felt I dealt with it at the time. Basically I faced him down, he apologised and that's why we did the interview,” Barry said.

"I guess having stood up and called him a sleazy creep and all the rest of it I felt like I'd got it out of my system, made my point and stood up to him.

“He didn't do to me what he did to seven and eight-year-old girls, obviously.”

She added: “While I was horrified and surprised, because I'd always quite liked his programmes on telly, he said he was sorry. It didn't occur to me to take it further. I didn't feel I needed to speak out about it.”

New Zealand police are encouraging any women with complaints against Harris to come forward.

Read more: Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction
Rolf Harris jailed
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?