Woman accused of lying in Rolf Harris case

A woman who says Rolf Harris groped her when she was 14 has been accused in a London court of lying and seeing the opportunity to jump on a "compensation bandwagon".

The woman, appearing in Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday, was also accused of airbrushing her brother out of her accounts to police because she knew he would not back her story.

The 87-year-old entertainer is appearing by video link for his two-week trial on indecent assault charges.

Before Judge Deborah Taylor and a jury of seven women and five men Harris faces four charges of groping teenage girls at public events in England in 1971, 1978 and 1983, with three complainants involved.

The first indecent assault count against Harris is that he put his hand up the skirt of a 14-year-old girl and touched her on the vagina through her tights as she sought his autograph at a youth music festival in London in July 1971.

She said she rushed to tell her father who then went and had words with Harris.

The complainant, now in her late 50s, was accused in court on Tuesday of making up her story by defence lawyer Stephen Vullo QC.

The woman did not make an official complaint until July 2014 but told the court she had informed friends and work colleagues of Harris' assault on her in the intervening years.

Vullo said that in phone calls to a child protection hotline and in subsequent interviews with police the woman's story kept changing and he put it to her that was because "it's not true".

The woman denied that and told the court she "may have worded things differently" in her various statements about Harris.

Vullo said the woman's father and uncle were at the music festival but were now dead and the woman's mother and aunt, who were also there, were unable to give evidence because they suffered from dementia.

But he put it to the woman that she had purposely not told police her brother was also at the festival.

"He is the only member of your family who is able to give evidence."

Vullo told the woman that she knew her brother was not willing to give a statement to police but if he did he would give evidence that could disprove her account and "that's why you left him out."

"You airbrushed him out of your story from the beginning," he said.

The woman denied that and said she did not know why she had left her brother out of her accounts.

Vullo put it to her that she saw "the opportunity of a compensation bandwagon going by and you wanted to jump on it?"

The woman denied that and said it had taken a lot of courage for her to finally go to authorities with a complaint.

Harris has been allowed to appear by video-link due to his age and state of health.

© AAP 2017

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