Rolf Harris trial: It’s possible I sexually admired 13-year-old girl in bikini, says entertainer may28

Rolf Harris today admitted he may have sexually admired his daughter’s 13-year-old friend in a bikini.

He told the court he had complimented the girl who now accuses him of a 16-year campaign of sexual molestation.

The veteran singer and artist accepted this amounted to admiring her young teenage body and — with hindsight — that this had been a sexual remark.

Asked if he had admired her sexually on that holiday, Harris replied: “It’s possible, yes.”

The alleged victim has told the court the abuse had started when she was 13 and had joined her friend, the TV star’s daughter Bindi, on a Harris family holiday to Hawaii and Australia in 1978.

Harris admits having a sexual relationship with the girl but only after she turned 18. He denies sexual abuse.

The jury at Southwark crown court was shown a photograph taken by Harris on the holiday of the girl in a flesh-coloured bikini.

In cross examination, prosecutor Sasha Wass QC told him: “When a man tells a woman or a girl she looks lovely in a bikini they are not admiring the clothing but admiring the body because there’s not a lot of fabric there, just a couple of triangles in the right places.

“You were saying to her, ‘You have a great body.’”

Harris replied: “I suppose so.”

Miss Wass: “When she was 13.”

Harris: “Yes.”

Miss Wass: “You made it plain you did admire her body and you admired it sexually.”

Harris: “It didn’t compute to that in my mind.”

Miss Wass: “It was a sexual remark.”

Harris: “In hindsight I suppose so.”

Miss Wass: “You must have admired her body sexually during that holiday.”

Harris: “It’s possible, yes.”

Miss Wass told him that nobody denied he was a brilliant performer.

“But this case is not a talent show, this case is taking place to decide whether underneath your friendly and lovable exterior there is a dark side,” she said.

“Even on your own account the private Rolf Harris was very different from the public Rolf Harris.”

He agreed that he had hidden his affairs with his daughter’s friend and his woman chauffeur.

Miss Wass said: “You are pretty good at disguising that dark side of your character.”

Harris replied: “Yes.”

Miss Wass: “The issue is how dark that dark side actually is — this was not a consensual relationship, this was child abuse, grooming and you effectively psychologically dominated that girl into womanhood.”

Harris: “I understand that is your case.”

Harris, 84, of Bray, has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of indecent assault on four girls and young women between 1968 and 1986.

The case continues.

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