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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Leading entertainment figure trial: Man is ‘pervert’ and ‘sex addict’, plaintiff tells jury


A leading figure in New Zealand’s entertainment industry is on trial in the Rotorua High Court.Photo/Andrew Warner

A young woman who claims she was molested by a leading figure in the entertainment industry has told a High Court jury the man was a “pervert” and a “sex addict”.

The man, who has been temporarily withheld until the conclusion of his trial in Rotorua, pleaded not guilty to 25 charges related to aggravated sex and drug offences.

The offenses relate to allegations the man raped or sexually assaulted nine women on separate occasions over the years. In some cases, the allegation was that the man had used illegal drugs before committing the crime.

The young woman who testified today said she was a teenager when she was molested. She denied the man’s lawyer’s claim that she had sex with the man prior to the night of the alleged crime.

In the house with other people, the man tried to kiss the young woman and asked to hold her hand, grabbed her hard and tried to push her into a nearby room, according to the official case. She resisted, struggling to make him stop.

The woman had earlier said in her testimony that the man went to her home in the weeks following the murder and took a flashlight from a bedroom window. He then knocked on doors and windows while the young woman and her mother hid in the hallway.

The young woman’s mother filmed the incident and showed the video to the jury last week.

Under cross-examination by the man’s lawyer, Ron Mansfield KC, the woman admitted that she and another friend of the same age had traveled to another city before the incident and that the man paid for the hotel for them. She said she didn’t think it mattered because the man was staying at another hotel.

She said the man supplied her and her friend with drugs and alcohol, including what they believed to be MDMA (ecstasy). The man later told her the drug was methamphetamine – which she was furious as she said she would never touch the drug because it was “next level”.

The woman said she now knew what the man was like and said he had a “weird power” of control and felt he could do whatever he wanted to a woman because of who he was. She said he was a “pervert”.

“He’s a sex addict. It’s just a fact.”

Mansfield said the pair had sex with the young woman while they were staying at a hotel outside the city, and on another occasion when he visited her house. “Absolutely not,” said the young woman.

Mansfield asked the young woman if it was right for the man to try to kiss her and hold her hand that night, as it was “expected” given the pair had had sex before. The woman said no.

“I don’t care about him at all and think he’s a pervert.”

Mansfield suggested to the woman that the two would share flirty text messages, which the woman denied.

The woman said she would like to see the news, if true. Mansfield then asked the woman if she still had messages on her phone, to which the woman replied “no” because it was “five phone calls ago” and she no longer had access to her Facebook messages.

Upon seeing a text message purportedly from her, the young woman said it was “fake” because she had not sent the message using commas and exclamation points like that.

The trial is in its third week and is expected to last at least six weeks. It was before Justice Ryan Harvey and a jury of nine women and three men. Anna Paulette represented the royal family in court.


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