Philip Green's neighbour saw him repeatedly 'fondle' Pilates coach
World / 11 October 2019, 8:31pm / MAIL FOREIGN SERVICE
A neighbour of Topshop mogul Sir Philip Green is set to testify at his forthcoming trial that she saw him fondling a fitness instructor with his "octopus-like" hands.
Kimberley Khoury has been named by US prosecutors as a witness after the businessman, 67, was accused of "repeatedly fondling" the bottom of Pilates coach Katie Surridge, 38, and making sexual comments towards her.
Sir Philip, charged with four counts of assault, completely denies the claims. He has hired high-profile attorneys to defend the case – including the lawyer who succeeded in getting sexual assault charges dropped against actor Kevin Spacey.
Ms Khoury, 55, who lived near Green at the exclusive Canyon Ranch health club in Tucson, Arizona, told The Daily Telegraph in February that she saw the Arcadia boss repeatedly "fondling" married Mrs Surridge’s bottom.
She is said to be the only independent witness to the alleged incident and has now been called up to give evidence, along with two police officers, the paper reported.
Court documents read: "The State of Arizona… hereby submits a list of people that it intends to call at trial".
Ms Khoury said in February that she "did not think it was OK for her [Mrs Surridge] to be mauled like that". She added: "I could see his hand touching her buttocks.
"He didn’t just do it once, it wasn’t just like a pat on the butt – which would be bad enough – he would pat her butt and then feel her butt and then he’d move his hand away, and Katie would try to move a little, and then he did it again, and then he did it again. It was bizarre really. She’s a wife and a mother and she doesn’t deserve that." Ms Khoury told police Sir Philip had an "octopus-like hand", the report said, and she claims to have reported his alleged behaviour to ranch management.
Since the charges were announced in May, other women working at a spa in Canyon Ranch have come forward to accuse Sir Philip of inappropriate behaviour. In July, Jennifer McAmis, a 30-year-old fitness instructor, claimed she had to wear extra clothing layers because he was so "grabby".
At least one more worker has also made complaints, it is understood.
Sir Philip still owns a luxury mansion near the spa resort, but has been banned from using the spa and gym. He was absent from court in August following a successful appeal by his lawyers to prevent an appearance.
Another court date, at which evidence may be brought, has been set for October 23. Speaking after police launched their investigation, Mrs Surridge accused Sir Philip of ‘hiding behind expensive lawyers’.
"Sir Philip needs to come to the US and face up to what he did," she said. It has been reported in the US that prosecutors may offer the tycoon a plea deal in return for an admission of guilt, with each of the four counts carrying up to 30 days of jail time.