London - Three more women came forward on Monday night to accuse former Harrods tycoon Mohammed Al-Fayed of sexual assault.
One alleged she was 15 when the billionaire tried to kiss her and make unwanted advances.
The claims, broadcast on Channel 4 News, follow a documentary last year in which three other women made similar allegations.
Mr Al-Fayed, 89, was reported to have denied ‘false’ claims made by a woman whose complaint to the police when she was a teenager was dropped.
On Monday night the complainant, identified as ‘Woman A’, said she visited Harrods as a 15-year-old with her mother in 2007 when Mr Al-Fayed offered her a job.
She told Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman: ‘It was so surreal. My meetings would be often, once a week in his offices, upstairs in Harrods, top floor.’
She said the tycoon gave her £300 in £50 notes and showered her with gifts including perfume and a designer handbag.
After a few months, she said he came into the boardroom one day and tried to kiss her and make unwanted advances. Woman A said she stopped eating and ran away from home, but eventually confided in her parents. They took her to the police. After a thorough investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service decided the evidence was not sufficiently reliable and dropped the case. Egyptian-born Mr Al-Fayed, who owns the Paris Ritz Hotel and is a former owner of Fulham FC, has always maintained his innocence.
Channel 4 News also spoke to ‘Woman B’, now in her 40s, who started working at Harrods about 25 years ago. She said Mr Al-Fayed made her feel uncomfortable during a business trip to the Ritz in Paris.
She said: ‘We all went to have dinner in the restaurant… he made a few comments about sex and boyfriends and things.
‘He wanted to dance with each of us. I danced with him. I felt really uncomfortable...
‘He was kissing my face. He asked if I liked his kisses. He kept squeezing me and kissing my forehead, and even at one point he kissed my nose. And I remember feeling very uncomfortable and a bit frozen.’ Channel 4 News said Woman B kept a diary of every incident.
Reading extracts, she said: ‘He pulled me towards him and kissed my face. He put a hand on each cheek and kissed me on the mouth. I pulled away, he laughed, he could see my discomfort. He said, “Don’t you want to have sex with me?” And I said, “no”. He said, “Not now, maybe one day.” And I said, “No, never”.’ The third woman said she too had rebuffed the billionaire’s unwanted advances.
Woman C, who worked for him a decade ago, remembers she was made to undergo a full medical check, including a test for sexually transmitted diseases.
She claimed Mr Al-Fayed began asking her to sleep with him and groped her breasts. She said: ‘He would kind of tug and make a joke like “what you wearing underneath this?” and he would try and look and his hands would go down your top and... that was it and he would start fondling, and I would move away.’ She went to see a lawyer and was advised to keep a diary.
According to Channel 4 News, woman C sued him for sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination and was made an offer of £60,000.
She accepted the cash and has not spoken about it publicly until now. Last December, Cheska Hill-Wood told Channel 4’s Dispatches she was 17 when the billionaire coaxed her into a swimsuit and tried to kiss her. Two other women also alleged on the documentary that the magnate tried to persuade them to have sex.
On Monday night Mr Al-Fayed’s office did not respond to requests for a comment.
Channel 4 News said it had put the allegations to the tycoon’s lawyer, who told the programme the claims concerning Woman A were ‘false’ and that Mr Al-Fayed was unable to comment further on the other allegations in the news report.