Socialite claims she was sexually assaulted at party by millionaire at centre of #MeToo scandal

A WELL-KNOWN socialite who believes she was a victim of the gagging-row tycoon last night accused him of groping her.

In an anonymous first-person account, she said: “He loved that I was scared.”

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The businessman payed out £500k in legal fees to remain anonymous[/caption]

She claimed the businessman secretly slid his hand under her dress as he chatted to her and her boyfriend at a party.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, the woman said: “Having his sweaty hand beneath my skirt was repulsive, but it was the power play involved that was the worst thing. He loved that I was scared.

“In fact I’ll bet a lot of the enjoyment for him was knowing that I would be too scared to say anything.

“That, not the handful of flesh, was what he was getting off on. And I still hate that I was too scared to say anything.”

She told her boyfriend that night and he said she should have confronted the tycoon.

But she added: “Like Harvey Weinstein, this wasn’t a man you went up against.”

� UPPA/Photoshot. All rights reserved.

Lord Justice Henderson ruled in favour of the businessman[/caption]

The Telegraph said because of the injunction against the newspaper, it could not tell her if the man she accuses is the gagging-row tycoon.

Non-disclosure agreements are being used as a weapon by the rich and famous to gag victims and cover up sexual assaults and potentially criminal activity, experts said.

Such NDAs — commonly known as ­confidentiality or gagging agreements — are legitimately used in business to protect confidential matters like takeovers.

But they are increasingly being employed by celebrities and the super-rich to mask sexual wrongdoing.

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein allegedly used NDAs to silence women.

The multi-millionaire tycoon at the centre of the latest gagging row paid £500,000 to get the order banning the revelation of his alleged bullying, racism and sexual harassment.

Judges granted it after hearing five of his staff got payouts to stay silent.

Campaigners said the granting of a gagging order over claims made against the ­multi-millionaire by five staff members was a disaster for free speech.

Rumours online

By Tom Wells

SOCIAL media was last night awash with speculation regarding the ­identity of the tycoon at the centre of the “British #MeToo” scandal.

In 2011, ex-footballer Ryan Giggs was named online des­pite winning a super- injunction to hush up a fling.

Other bans are still in force despite their subjects being widely known.

In 2011, a married Premier League star won an injunction after saying he feared “cruel chants” if his affair emerged.

In the same year a married top actor won a gagging order after allegedly paying a woman for sex. Both were widely named on social media.

In June, outgoing Supreme Court judge Lord Mance admitted that internet gossip now rendered many injunctions pointless.

The English and Welsh press would still be banned from saying his name even if he is identified abroad or in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The judges ruled the signing of the agreements overrode the public interest in exposing the businessman’s “discreditable” behaviour.

The case has been described as “a British #MeToo moment” — a reference to the flood of allegations in America following the revelation of film mogul Harvey Weinstein’s serial sexual harassment.

The identity of the tycoon was the subject of the usual speculation on social media, where injunctions are routinely flouted.

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Lawyers acted in 2011 for Ryan Giggs to win a super-injunction which banned reporting of his affair with Imogen Thomas[/caption]

The executive is represented by London law firm Schillings.

Its lawyers acted for Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs in 2011 to win a super-injunction, which banned reporting of his affair with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas.

Schillings was also involved in an effort by football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to gag a former lover.

Three of the five staff members in the current case had made complaints using “internal grievance procedures”. Three later filed employment tribunal claims.

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Theresa May did not comment but she did say that such abhorrent behaviour should not be tolerated[/caption]

Two of the staff supported the tycoon’s bid for an injunction. Both wanted to preserve anonymity.

The judges said there was no evidence anyone had been pressured into signing the deals.

Each individual had taken independent legal advice.

In March 2011, the RBS bank boss Sir Fred Goodwin gagged The Sun to prevent us running a story about an affair.


The identity of the tycoon was subject of the usual speculation on social media[/caption]

But later that month, then Lib Dem MP John Hemming used Parliamentary privilege to reveal how Goodwin had sought an injunction.

Lib Dem peer Lord Stoneham then disclosed in the Lords that Goodwin’s injunction was to stop the reporting of a sexual relationship. High Court judge Mr Justice Tugendhat later granted a partial lifting of the injunction.

He said Goodwin’s QC had said he “did not wish to persuade the court to continue the anonymity” he had been granted.

Mr Hemming joined those criticising the granting of the tycoon’s injunction. He said: “When the legal system becomes a tool of the rich it’s very dangerous.

“The counter-argument to this becoming public seems to be that it would render NDAs worthless.
“I would simply say, ‘Would that be such a bad thing?’”


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