Sir Philip Green responds to harassment claims: ‘I’ll turn gay and proposition you’
British businessman Sir Philip Green has reacted angrily to reporters questioning him on the latest sexual harassment allegations levelled against him.
The Topshop owner denied claims by lawyer Nancy Dell’Olio, a former girlfriend of football manager Sven-Göran Eriksson, that he offered her an Indecent Proposal-style deal—£1 million to spend the night with him, The Daily Telegraph and The Sun both reported on Tuesday (October 30).
According to the reports, Sir Philip angrily dismissed Dell’Olio’s accusations as a “blatant lie,” telling one of the reporters who tracked him down in Arizona: “Oh yeah, I’m going to proposition you actually, I’m going to turn gay in a minute. You can write that down how’s that?”
He also took one of the reporter’s dictaphone and threatened to stamp it before returning it to the owner, adding: “Behave yourself. I don’t want to get myself into trouble but somebody’s going to get on the wrong end? So we don’t want that do we?” according to The Sun.
Sir Philip was named in the House of Lords last week as the businessman who won an injunction against The Telegraph, preventing the newspaper from publishing an investigation into a series of non-disclosure agreements the tycoon signed with people who accused him of sexual harassment, racist abuse and bullying in the workplace.
The Telegraph wrote about the injunction in a cover story titled “The British #MeToo scandal which cannot be revealed” on October 23, prompting Lord Hain to use his parliamentary privilege to name the businessman behind the story.
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Taking his turn to speak during a scheduled session of the House of Lords, he said he felt it was “his duty” to speak out about the issue, as he had been in contact with “someone intimately involved in the case of a powerful businessman using non-disclosure agreements and substantial payments to conceal the truth about serious and repeated sexual harassment, racist abuse, and bullying, which is compulsively continuing.”
He added: “I feel it’s my duty under parliamentary privilege to name Philip Green as the individual in question, given that the media have been subject to an injunction preventing publication of the full details of this story which is clearly in the public interest.”
Sir Philip has “categorically and wholly” denied allegations of “unlawful sexual or racist behaviour.”
In an interview to The Mail on Sunday, Sir Philip lamented being used as “target practice when there is zero [evidence].”
“There has obviously from time to time been some banter and a bit of humour, but as far as I’m concerned there was never any intent to be offensive,” he said, adding: “If anything I’ve said has caused offence, I’m happy to apologise. Nothing I’ve said was ever meant to be offensive.”