UK

Girl thought Max Clifford would kill her, court told

max Clifford court sketch Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Max Clifford denies assault

A teenager feared former celebrity publicist Max Clifford was "going to kill her" when he forced her to perform a sex act on him, a court has heard.

The alleged victim, now married with children, told Southwark Crown Court he had said: "It's only a bit of fun", and she added that she had "no experience".

Mr Clifford, now 73, denies assaulting the girl, then 17, at his London office in the early 1980s.

His defence counsel accused the woman of making it up to get compensation.

'Miss my train'

Giving evidence, the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the jury: "He unzipped his trousers and came towards me", before forcing her to carry out a sexual act.

"It felt like it was going on for ages," she said.

"I said several times, 'I really don't want to do this and really don't want to miss my train'.

"I actually thought he was going to kill me. I had no experience and really didn't know what was going to happen next."

She told the court the alleged incident only ended when a delivery person knocked at the door.

Image copyright Philip Toscano/PA Wire
Image caption Max Clifford worked with some of the biggest names in show business

She said she did not tell anyone until several years ago because it was "not the sort of thing nice girls talked about".

"I didn't think I would be believed or that anyone would do anything," she added. "He was so powerful. I'm nobody."

She also told jurors Mr Clifford left photographs of naked women on his desk for her to see.

News stories

But Sarah Forshaw QC, defending, said the alleged victim has "always enjoyed money" and had told her daughter she would be "all right financially after this trial".

She accused the woman of making up the allegations after reading in the news that Mr Clifford's other victims could get £200,000 in compensation.

Mr Clifford was previously charged and given a prison sentence for some allegations investigated by Operation Yewtree, the Met Police investigation set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

In court, the woman repeatedly insisted that she was not lying about the allegations to try to claim damages.

Some of the biggest names in show business, including pop mogul Simon Cowell, late reality TV star Jade Goody and boxer Muhammad Ali, were represented by Mr Clifford, of Hersham, Surrey, during his career.

The trial continues.