A wealthy businessman accused of indecent assault has described the allegation as a “pack of lies”.
It’s day six of the rich lister’s trial at the High Court in Auckland. The defendant, who currently has name suppression, faces three charges of indecent assault and two charges of attempting to dissuade a witness.
His manager faces one charge of attempting to dissuade a witness – a prominent New Zealand entertainer has already admitted to bribing the same complainant.
The businessman’s comments today formed part of a filmed police interview in 2017 that was played to the court this morning.
It came after the court earlier heard from a man who was staying at the rich lister’s house in 2016.
The man told the court he left the property one evening to see friends, smoking marijuana on the way, before heading back to the businessman’s house.
Feeling nauseous, he lay down in a spare bedroom upon returning to the house – not his assigned room.
He blamed an undercooked pork chop as the reason he was feeling unwell and told the court he had not consumed other drugs that day.
He said the businessman told him to leave the spare room, but then told him to come into the rich lister’s bedroom.
Instead, he went back to his bedroom, but he said the rich lister followed and indecently assaulted him.
“He was fondling my penis, he was caressing my body,” he told the court earlier this week.
“It was just making me feel incredibly uncomfortable. I felt even more sick.”
However, in the police interview the businessman called the allegation of indecent assault a “pack of lies”.
He told the police officer interviewing him in the days preceding the alleged assault that the complainant had been told to “get out” of the house.
“He was very bitter about that,” the businessman said in the interview.
During his stay at the house, he said the man “frequently appeared to be on drugs”.
The businessman said when he found the man in the spare room, he helped him back into the man’s own bedroom.
“I was at one point pushing him into bed. I certainly pushed his arms, chest down onto the bed,” he told police.
“He was flailing around and... hit me with one of his arms.
"That was the only contact with him I had other than helping along the landing to his bedroom.”
He described the man’s behaviour as “irrational”.
“I disliked the guy,” he said.
When asked if any attempts had been made to “blackmail” the businessman, the rich lister said there was the “possibility of a conspiracy”.
“I would have expected before we got to this point [the complainant] would have asked for money,” he said.
“If nothing else it is sort of a revenge move... quite unnecessary and unprovoked.”