It took an Isleworth Crown Court jury just fifteen minutes to unanimously acquit Simon David (pictured) today after a three-day trial
A playwright has been cleared of groping a young actress’s bum and breasts during a one-on-one rehearsal after claiming it was merely ‘creative and dance-driven’ contact.
Simon David, 57, was alone with the 20-year-old in a room at the Royal Court Theatre in London while the two worked on a dramatic interpretation of his poems ‘E is for Ecstasy’ and ‘Kiss Not Over.’
David – of Tavistock Road in Notting Hill, London – always denied the charge of sexual assault made on December 8, last year.
The 147-year-old venue is known as the ‘Writers Theatre’ and is renowned for non-commercial productions that encourage new artists.
It took an Isleworth Crown Court jury just fifteen minutes to unanimously acquit him today after a three-day trial.
Afterwards David, who has not been in trouble before, declined to speak about his ordeal, commenting: ‘I’ve already spoken enough about this case.’
The actress had told the court it was her second rehearsal with David – who has worked in the theatre’s bookshop for sixteen years – and accused him of ‘grabbing my buttocks’ and touching her breasts when they were alone.
He allegedly said afterwards: ‘It was fun trying to do that, knowing you’re not interested,’ and: ‘If you had said stop I would have stopped up to a point.’
However, David told the court the contact was consensual: ‘The intention was artistic, creative and dance-driven.
‘As a performer I’m a little over-the-top in my movements. We both went one hundred per cent into it, we were both passionate and very strong.
David, 57, was alone with the 20-year-old in a room at the Royal Court Theatre in London (pictured) while the two worked on a dramatic interpretation of his poems ‘E is for Ecstasy’ and ‘Kiss Not Over’
‘It’s not just reading the poem. They have to do the movements and physicality.’
The actress claimed she made it clear she was uncomfortable with the contact, but was too frightened to flee the room, believing David would try to ‘kill’ her.
That claim is an example of her ‘over dramatic’ account of the events, David says, who has worked with thousands of performers during his long theatre career.
He explained his ‘E is for Ecstasy’ poem includes embracing, but the actress says David deliberately pinned her hands behind her back.
‘That’s what upset me,’ he told the jury. ‘She says I was holding and grabbing her, but that is not the case.
‘The hands behind the back was romantic, in line with the poem, along with a hand resting on the bottom, touching the throat and hand coming off her breast.’
He said the interpretation of ‘Kiss Not Over’ required physical contact. ‘It is passion-driven and she completely consented.
‘She was going along with it in the context of the rehearsal and we were both in the moment.’
David denied he became ‘carried away’ due to his passion for his work. ‘I have a very strong moral grounding,’ he said.
David told Isleworth Crown Court (pictured) the contact was consensual: He said: ‘The intention was artistic, creative and dance-driven’
‘She was responding with full enthusiasm and dancing and embracing me in the same way I was embracing her.’
David said the door of the rehearsal room was open at all times, with people constantly passing by.
When arrested, he did not ask for a lawyer and gave a full explanation. ‘I did not think I had broken the law and still don’t. It was a shock when the accusations came.’