Fayed ac­cused of ha­rass­ing teenager

The Daily Telegraph - - Front page - By Robert Men­dick CHIEF RE­PORTER

Mo­hamed Fayed has been ac­cused of groom­ing and sex­u­ally ha­rass­ing a 17-year-old Har­rods worker by per­suad­ing her to wear a swim­ming cos­tume be­fore ask­ing her to sleep with him. The bil­lion­aire is the sub­ject of an ex­pose tonight by Dis­patches, the Chan­nel 4 pro­gramme.

MO­HAMED FAYED has been ac­cused of groom­ing and sex­u­ally ha­rass­ing a 17-year-old Har­rods em­ployee by per­suad­ing her to wear a swim­ming cos­tume be­fore ask­ing her to sleep with him, a Chan­nel 4 doc­u­men­tary will claim tonight.

The bil­lion­aire is ac­cused by Dis­patches, the Chan­nel 4 doc­u­men­tary pro­gramme, of tar­get­ing three fe­male mem­bers of staff at Har­rods.

An ex­pose called Al-fayed: Be­hind Closed Doors, due to be aired tonight, will out­line “al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual harassment against bil­lion­aire Mo­hammed Al Fayed”, pro­gramme mak­ers say.

Dis­patches claims to have in­ter­viewed three women who al­lege Mr Fayed groomed them and made in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual ad­vances dur­ing their time at Har­rods, a decade apart.

Two of the women chose to re­main anony­mous but a third, Ch­eska Hill­wood, 41, an art gallery man­ager and a trained ac­tress, waived her anonymity to go pub­lic with her claims.

On one oc­ca­sion, the ty­coon is al­leged to have asked Ms Hill­wood, then 17, to change into a swim­ming cos­tume be­fore film­ing her and try­ing to kiss her. She al­leges that Mr Fayed promised to find her work as an ac­tress if she slept with him. She said she then dressed and fled.

Mr Fayed, 88, has slipped out of the pub­lic lime­light in re­cent years, hav­ing sold Har­rods for £1.5 bil­lion in 2010. He had waged a cam­paign against the Royal fam­ily and specif­i­cally the Duke of Ed­in­burgh, whom he blamed for the death of Dodi

Fayed, his only son, and Diana, Princess of Wales in a car crash in Paris in 1997. A po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion found no ev­i­dence to sug­gest the cou­ple had been mur­dered.

Chan­nel 4 said the al­le­ga­tions were be­ing made pub­lic in the wake of a scan­dal over pub­lic fig­ures ac­cused of ha­rass­ing women – and oc­ca­sion­ally men. A Chan­nel 4 spokesman said: “The film fea­tures the tes­ti­mony of three women who now feel able to speak out about ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sex­u­ally preda­tory and threat­en­ing be­hav­iour whilst work­ing for the business mag­nate and former owner of Har­rods, Mo­hammed Al Fayed. De­spite not know­ing one an­other, their ac­counts, from two dif­fer­ent decades, re­veal a num­ber of strik­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties.” Ac­cord­ing to a tran­script of the pro­gramme, Ms Hill-wood, 41, be­gan work­ing for Har­rods in 1993. She claims that on one oc­ca­sion Mr Fayed in­vited her to his flat in cen­tral Lon­don, claim­ing he could help her get act­ing work with his son, a film pro­ducer. Mr Fayed could not be reached for com­ment last night. Chan­nel 4 said it had not had a re­sponse last night, hav­ing put the al­le­ga­tions to his lawyer last week. The spokesman said: “Dis­patches has not re­ceived a re­sponse from Mo­hamed Al Fayed to the spe­cific al­le­ga­tions made by the in­ter­vie­wees in this pro­gramme.”

Ch­eska Hill-wood, left, claims Mo­hamed Fayed, be­low, ha­rassed her when she was a 17-year-old Har­rods em­ployee

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