A British holidaymaker feared she was going be raped by Rolf Harris after he persuaded her to join him in the back room of a Maltese bar after she admired his artwork based on the hit song ‘Two Little Boys’, a court has heard.
The entertainer suggested the 18-year-old joined him to look at other paintings before he pinned her against the wall, started kissing her, and put his hand inside her clothes, Southwark Crown Court was told.
The woman – who had chatted happily with Mr Harris about art moments before – said that he suddenly stopped the alleged attack, cuddled her and apologised for what had happened, the woman told the hearing.
“I was just in shock really,” said the woman who was on holiday with her boyfriend at the time of the attack in 1970. “I was happy that that was it. I thought I was going to be raped. I didn’t know what I thought, to be honest. I probably thought more about it afterwards than when I was there.”
She told the court that she had felt “flattered” with his first “slobbery” kiss but said that she did not know what to do. “It wasn’t very nice,” she said. “I was more shocked than anything.”
The woman – one of three women who gave evidence against the 84-year-old entertainer yesterday – said that they met when she went for help to a bar after her boyfriend cut his foot on the seashore.
After collecting towels to staunch the bleeding, she said that Mr Harris directed her to a nearby doctor to get the wound checked. She said that she was assaulted after she returned to the bar to thank him for his help and to talk with a man who had become a television personality.
She said that Mr Harris was with two other men. She was invited to have a drink while they had a “nice conversation” about art school and what they were doing in Malta.
She said that she admired a picture inside the bar signed by Mr Harris that showed two boys and their horses that appeared based on his former number one hit song.
Mr Harris suggested they went inside to see some more, the woman told the court. “I thought it was a nice gesture from a kind person,” she said. She said they went into a room with a red sofa, pictures on the wall and the entertainer shut the door behind them before launching the attack.
She said they then went outside and she had a picture taken with him as he squeezed her arm. “It was as if it was an apology,” she told the court. “It was so quick, I didn’t think about going to the police,” she told the court. “How do you prove something like that has happened?
“We had a lovely conversation beforehand; it got tainted when he took me into the room. When we came out, I thought I was okay, I hadn’t been raped or anything. Then it was like a finish off, ‘would you like a photograph taken?’ I said ‘yes’.”
Mr Harris is accused of 12 counts of indecent assault against four women spanning some 18 years from 1968. The entertainer denies all of the charges.