Fitness instructor tells Sir Philip Green to face her in US court over claims he groped her at luxury spa resort
- Topshop boss Philip Green court hearing takes place in Tuscon, Arizona
- Gym instructor Katie Surridge, 38, alleged that he repeatedly fondled her and made sexual comments
- Prosecutors may offer plea deal in exchange for an admission of guilt
The first court hearing into groping allegations against Sir Philip Green by a gym instructor at a luxury spa began yesterday.
Charged with four counts of assault, the Topshop boss is accused of ‘repeatedly fondling’ the bottom of Pilates coach Katie Surridge, 38, and making sexual comments towards her even after being told to stop.
Though Green was absent following a successful appeal by his lawyers to prevent an appearance, Ms Surridge appeared before Pima County Justice Court in Tucson, Arizona to listen to the short hearing.
Charged with four counts of assault, the Topshop boss is accused of ‘repeatedly fondling’ the bottom of Pilates coach Katie Surridge, 38, (pictured) and making sexual comments towards her even after being told to stop
It is believed prosecutors may offer the billionaire a plea deal in return for an admission of guilt, with each of the four counts carrying up to 30 days imprisonment.
However the consequences of a guilty plea may reach further, and could pressure the UK government into stripping Green of his knighthood.
Speaking after police launched their investigation, Ms Surridge accused Sir Philip of ‘hiding behind expensive lawyers’.
‘Sir Philip needs to come to the US and face up to what he did,’ the mother of three told the Telegraph.
Ms Surridge made at appearance at Pima County Justice Court in Tucson, Arizona to listen to the short hearing along with her husband (pictured)
‘This case isn’t going away, and sooner or later he’s going to realise that.
‘You can have all the money in the world but you can’t behave the way he did and expect to just walk away.’
Green has hired several high profile attorneys to defend the case including the lawyer who succeeded in getting sexual assault charges dropped against the actor Kevin Spacey.
Speaking after the hearing, deputy county attorney Lauren Deakin told the Telegraph: ‘A plea agreement would require an admission of guilt if he were to take one and so at this point there’s nothing I can share about that process other than it’s a normal part of the criminal process.’
Green has hired several high profile attorneys to defend the case including the lawyer who succeeded in getting sexual assault charges dropped against the actor Kevin Spacey
Since the charges were announced, other women working at a spa in Canyon Ranch have come forward to accuse Green of inappropriate behaviour.
In July, Jennifer McAmis, a 30-year-old fitness instructor, claimed she had to wear extra layers of clothing because Sir Philip was so ‘grabby’.
At least one more worker has also made official complaints about his behaviour, it is understood.
Green still owns a luxury mansion near to the spa resort, but has been banned from using either the spa and gym.
Another court date, at which evidence may be brought, has been set for October 23.