Rolf Harris ‘Touches’ BBC Presenter Live on TV; Licks Neck of 15-year-old Singer
By Athena Yenko | July 7, 2014 3:22 PM EST
In separate interviews, TV presenter for BBC 2 programme Vanessa Feltz revealed that Rolf Harris had 'touched' her live on TV while singer Linda Nolan divulged that she was licked on the neck by Harris when she was just 15.
Entertainer Rolf Harris arrives for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in London July 4, 2014. Harris, a mainstay of family entertainment in Britain and Australia for more than 50 years, was found guilty on Monday of 12 charges of indecently assaulting young girls over a period of nearly 20 years.
Feltz now regrets being quiet about what he experienced with Harris in May 1996, when she was just in her mid-30's and working as a host for Channel 4's The Big Breakfast, On The Bed sequence.
She said the 'touching' happened with the whole staff and Harris' wife watching but unaware.
"I was lying on cushions on the bed in a long, flowing, floor-length, heavily beaded evening dress. He was sitting very close. As the interview continued, with his wife watching and with the crew all in the room, I suddenly felt a rustling at the hem of my dress. I was on live television so I could not look down but I sensed that his hand was at the bottom of my dress and he was slowly gathering the fabric up and moving his hand higher and higher up my leg. He was carrying on talking as though nothing was going on, smiling and joking, as he moved his hand further up," Feltz told Sunday Express in an exclusive interview.
"Suddenly his hand had reached my knee and he was still going up and travelling at speed. I was so shocked. This was Rolf Harris. I could clearly see his wife. How could this possibly be happening? But, of course, as he knew perfectly well, I could not say anything. After a few seconds he had managed to get his hand inside the elastic of my knickers and I was absolutely staggered. "I have not a shadow of a doubt that he knew exactly what he was doing and he was getting excited about it, doing what he was doing while he was on live television," Feltz continued.
She said her mind is telling her to do something but she was completely paralysed with the experience.
"What do you do? Stop and tell the viewers: 'Rolf Harris is assaulting me'. I could not do that. I was also conscious that we had a lot of children watching and I could not say anything which would upset them," Feltz shared.
She said she found temporary relief when the show went on a break. However, Harris carried on with what he was doing the moment the camera rolled again.
"When we came back to the live interview, he carried on as if nothing had happened. He was smiling and joking. Inside, I could not wait for the interview to end. I was both disgusted and furious with him. I was powerless to protect myself and he knew and he was getting a thrill from it. What I really wanted to do was tell him '**** off' and let him have a piece of my mind but he knew I could not say a single word on air. I had extricated myself from a serious sexual assault but he was still trying to be in control. After the interview I rushed off to the dressing room without speaking to him," Feltz recalled bitterly.
"I felt a mixture of anger and confusion. At the time I did not even consider going to the police. I did not think anyone would believe me against the great Rolf Harris," Feltz said.
The moment the news broke about Harris' sexual assaults and pedophilia, Feltz knew the victims were telling the truth for their stories were very similar to what she experienced.
"I knew they were telling the truth because their stories were so similar to what had happened to me. I realised that he was prepared to take enormous risks to assault his victims. In fact, that was part of the thrill of it. That is part of who he is."
Feltz hoped that she can encourage all victims of sexual assault, not just by Harris, to come forward.
"My only reason for speaking now is to encourage other women who have been the victims of assaults to come forward. Sexual predators are opportunistic. If it happens to you it has very probably happened to a host of other women and girls. Someone like Rolf will carry on unless they are shamed and stopped," Feltz said ending the interview.
Singer Linda Nolan had also spoke of her terrifying encounter with Harris when she was just 15 years old.
"I had been to the loo and was walking to our dressing room. He suddenly came out of nowhere and in seconds his hands were all over me. He came right up to me and got me in a huge bear hug. His arms were all over my back, right around me so his hands were touching the sides of my breasts. He rubbed up and down and started kissing and licking the back of my neck. He towered over me. If I'd had to fight him off, I couldn't have. It was horrible and I was totally dumbstruck," Nolan said during an exclusive interview with the Mirror.
"But after a couple of minutes of me trying to wriggle him off without him stopping, I whispered to him, 'Please don't Rolf, please, please stop'. He did stop then, but looked at me like I was an idiot. He laughed it off and said, 'Don't be silly, I'm only giving you a hug. It was horrendous and humiliating, but he made me feel like I was a dramatic, silly little girl so I felt embarrassed. I just went back to the dressing room, blushing, and didn't tell a soul," Nolan recalled.
She said hearing the stories of Harris' victims at present made the memories came back to her now, especially when she read about the victim using the expression "bear hug."
"The expression that came up was 'bear hug' and that's exactly what it was for me. It was a hug you could not wriggle out of. He was a tall man, and even now I'm only 5 ft 3 in. I was a little girl. I'd never even kissed a boy before. I'd had a peck on the cheek when I was 13. So for the first man to try to kiss me to be a big 44-year-old with a beard towering over me was horrible," Nolan recalled.
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