Philip Green charged with assault in US after allegedly repeatedly touching pilates instructor

Topshop billionaire ‘strenuously’ denies allegations

Samuel Osborne
Friday 31 May 2019 18:21
Who is Sir Philip Green?

Sir Philip Green has been charged with four counts of misdemeanour assault in the US after a pilates instructor alleged he repeatedly touched her inappropriately, prosecutors have said.

Katie Surridge told police in Arizona the Topshop billionaire had spanked her and grabbed her backside during classes in the Canyon Ranch luxury resort in Tuscon in 2016 and 2018.

Pima County Attorney’s Office said he had been charged with four counts of knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke.

Deputy county attorney Lauren Deakin said: “Philip Green has been formally charged with four misdemeanour assault counts.

“These are class three misdemeanours. Each count has a potential sentence of up to 30 days in the Pima County jail, a fine of not more than $500, and up to one year of probation.”

Ms Deakin said an arraignment date had been set for 19 June.

“Sir Philip strenuously denies these allegations and is disappointed that the charges have been filed in his absence and they are minor categories of misdemeanour in the United States,” a statement issued by Arcadia said.

“Sir Philip is not personally required to attend before the court at the forthcoming hearing and will be represented by his lawyer.

“Contrary to previous suggestions in the media there is no allegation of any sexual assault or misconduct made by the prosecution.”

Sir Philip, 67, has previously denied the allegations investigated by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

The mother-of-three, who is in her 30s, told Detective Stivers in a police interview obtained by the Press Association the “creepy old man” had “vigorously” slapped her bottom up to 10 times in January 2016.

She alleged she was worried about frustrating a “high roller” at the resort but decided to speak to management who said they spoke to Sir Philip and reassured her it would not happen again.

But Ms Surridge told police that Sir Philip came back for another class in January 2018.

“This time, instead of slapping my butt, he puts his hands, like, he wraps his hands around my waist and then grabs my butt cheek and just puts his hand there and just holds it there as he’s hugging me,” she said.

He went on to make uncomfortable comments and pat her exposed stomach as she demonstrated an exercise, she alleged.

She told police: “And then the session ended and I immediately went upstairs to (management’s) office and I was in tears and I said: ‘He was told never to touch me again and here he is touching me again.’”

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A homeowner at the resort, described by police as an independent witness, gave an account to the detective of what she claims to have seen in 2016.

Kimberly Khoury said Sir Philip grabbed her with his “octopus-like hand”.

“I see his hand go reach out and, like, pat her buttocks,” Ms Khoury told the officer.

“And then pat it again and like, grab her buttocks. And then she kind of moved, like, startled a little bit. And took like a step away.

“And then he removed his hand and brought it back.

“I can’t tell you what we talked about because I was so focused on what was happening with his ... uh, his octopus-like hand.”

They continued talking before he grabbed Ms Surridge’s bottom again, Ms Khoury alleged.

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She continued: “And like, slaps, you know, spanks it, whatever, so like, taps it. And then grabs again and this happened in the course of like a minute-and-a-half, or two minutes. He did that three or four times.

“It was pretty clear that, to me, that she wasn’t welcoming the behaviour.”

Ms Khoury, who was 54 at the time of the police interview in February, said she found it “disturbing” and spoke to senior management at the ranch.

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