Woman 'called Clifford a pervert'

Preston and Leyland Citizen: PR guru Max Clifford is accused of a total of 11 counts of indecent assault against seven women and girls PR guru Max Clifford is accused of a total of 11 counts of indecent assault against seven women and girls

One of PR guru Max Clifford's alleged victims described him as a "dirty old bastard" and a "pervert", a court heard today.

A friend and former colleague of the woman recalled how Clifford came up in conversation about six years ago. The woman told the jury that the alleged victim described how he indecently assaulted her when she was 14 after they met at a Wimpy burger bar in south-west London.

It is claimed the incident took place in Morden in 1966, when Clifford was in his early 20s.

The alleged victim's friend told Southwark Crown Court that Clifford appeared on television at their office and another colleague commented that he was "such a lovely man".

The alleged victim, who cannot be named, then began to describe her incident with him, her friend said. "Her words to me were 'he's not that bloody lovely, he's not that nice, he's a bloody pervert'."

Her friend said that she went on to give her "a brief description of an incident" where Clifford "tried it on" and "started touching" her.

Yesterday the alleged victim told the court that Clifford drove her to an alleyway "and then he tried to force himself" on her before she escaped.

Her friend, who took to the witness box today, recalled that she said to her: "Well it just shows that these people aren't whiter than white.

"Her words were 'he's just a dirty old bastard'."

The court also heard from the alleged victim's daughter, who described hearing the defendant come up in conversation between her mother and stepfather. She told jurors she was 12 or 13 at the time, and the discussion was "probably about 18 years ago".

The woman said her mother explained that the incident took place in Clifford's car after they met at a Wimpy branch.

"She did say that she started to feel concerned because she knew she wasn't going in the direction of her house," the daughter said. "She said that she was obviously sitting in the passenger seat and she said he made an advance towards her and sort of was trying to force himself on top of her."

Prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC asked her: "Can you remember any more detail about that?"

She replied: "She said her main thought process was how was she going to get out of that situation." She added: "She said she tried to wriggle free so she could get the door open and escape from the car and escape from the situation."

The witness told the court that her mother mentioned Clifford several times since then, when she saw him on television. She said: "She would make the odd comment 'well I know something about him, I had an experience with him'."

The daughter went on: "She would say 'well there's some skeletons in his closet'."

Clifford, wearing a grey suit, white shirt and striped grey tie with a daffodil pin lapel badge, listened through a hearing loop from the dock.

The defendant, 70, from Hersham in Surrey, is accused of a total of 11 counts of indecent assault against seven women and girls. He denies all the charges, and says he would not have gone to a Wimpy. The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

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