Sir Philip Green and Baroness Karren Brady, pictured together in London in January 2012. She has now quit his fashion empire
Baroness Karren Brady is today under mounting pressure to reveal what she knew about allegations Sir Philip Green sexually and racially harassed staff before paying them off.
Baroness Brady has quit as non-executive chairman of Taveta Investments, the parent company of Sir Philip’s Arcadia business empire, but has refused to say why.
The billionaire allegedly paid one woman more than £1million over alleged sexual harassment and a male employee alleged he was told he was ‘still throwing spears in the jungle’ by the business boss.
Oliver Shah, Green’s biographer and Sunday Times business editor told BBC Radio 4 today: ‘It seems that she [Karren Brady] has tried to front it out and realised it is untenable to stay given all her comments on women’s rights in the workplace.
‘Either she knew these NDAs [non disclosure agreements] were being signed and she presided over a culture where this was able to happen – or she didn’t know and was incompetent’.
Just two weeks ago Baroness Brady pledged not to quit Taveta because she felt ‘a sense of duty’ to staff – including her social media star daughter Sophia Peschisolido, 22, who works for Topshop’s PR arm.
She was then branded a ‘hypocrite’ for staying on having outspoken critic of abuses of power in the workplace and was among those to condemn film producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey.
And having refused to take the ‘easy’ option of relinquishing the role on Sir Philip’s board, she had had a change of heart and resigned without explanation.
Business leaders and MPs have insisted she should make clear what she was told about the accusations and if she knew about the payments.
Frank Field said: ‘Lady Brady needs to say whether she was informed, did she know, was she party to these gagging orders of women who say they were appallingly treated by Sir Philip Green’.
Labour MP Jess Phillips said: ‘Karren Brady will still have to answer to what went on under her watch and so she should, but it is Green who is ultimately responsible and, like always, it feels like powerful men can get away with anything.’
Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, said Brady must explain why she has suddenly ‘decided she can’t defend the indefensible’.
Dragons’ Den Duncan Bannatyne condemned her employment at Taveta as ‘disgusting’ and told MailOnline yesterday: ‘I’m glad to hear that Brady has at last put her hypocritical stance aside and done what she should have done by resigning from Taveta.
‘But she still needs to answer questions on what she knew about the non-disclosure agreements that were signed by employees’.
Lady Brady with her daughter Sophia, 22, who works as a social media content assistant and part-time model for Topshop. They are pictured together in London in January 2017
Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne (left) branded businesswoman Karren Brady (right), 49, a ‘hypocrite’ after she refused to resign as chair of Sir Philip Green’s Top Shop
Sir Philip Green with his wife Tina (left) and daughter Chloe (right) in Cannes in 2017. He has denied wrongdoing and said the non-disclosure agreements remain in place
The calls for Baroness Brady to divulge what she was told come after it was revealed Sir Philip settled a number of cases out of court after employees accused him of racial discrimination and sexual harassment.
MPs and business leaders say since ‘gagging orders’ were signed preventing the men and women from speaking out, the baroness and Dragon’s Den star should reveal if and what she knew about them.
Sir Philip denies such behaviour.
The businesswoman, who is also vice-chairman of West Ham, has previously been an outspoken critic of abuses of power in the workplace and was among those to condemn film producer Harvey Weinstein.
She said last month she would stay on for the benefit of staff like her daughter.
Sophia who has been a social media content assistant at Topshop since 2016.
Miss Peschisolido, who is Baroness Brady’s only daughter with her former footballer husband Paul Peschisolido, has also worked as a model for Sir Philip’s high street fashion chain.
The 22-year-old social media star who has 27,000 followers in Instagram regularly flaunts her lavish holidays on social media and encourages followers to buy the clothes she is wearing in the posts.
Baroness Brady has stepped down from her post as the non-executive chairman of Taveta, the holding company for Sir Philip’s retail empire. The duo are pictured together in London in November 2010
Baroness Brady’s past comments on harassment
On inappropriate behaviour at work:
‘Lots of men are asking, ‘When is it appropriate to touch a colleague?’ If you are in any doubt, how about…NEVER.’
‘Employers who turn a blind eye to repeated reports of assault and harassment become facilitators and enablers.’
‘To call someone a girl is belittling, disrespectful and a real indication that you don’t see her as an equal.’
On Harvey Weinstein:
‘Even if that kind of behaviour was acceptable a few decades ago you’d think that a clever man like him would be able to grasp the pretty basic notion that Times. Have. Changed.’
On Sir Philip Green in her book, Strong Woman:
‘He is without doubt the most dynamic, the most energetic, the most relentless business-person I have ever come across, a whirlwind of energy and ideas.
‘I have never met anyone quite like him… More importantly, he is a great mentor to all the people in his organisation and enjoys engaging with people at every level of the business.’