Alleged victim 'not telling truth'

Romsey Advertiser: Max Clifford arrives at Southwark Crown Court Max Clifford arrives at Southwark Crown Court

An alleged victim of celebrity publicist Max Clifford is not telling the truth and made allegations against him to "jump on the bandwagon", a woman has told his trial.

The witness told London's Southwark Crown Court that her ex-boyfriend was once married to a woman who previously gave evidence against the 70-year-old, claiming that he had assaulted her when she was 14.

Giving evidence today, the woman said he told her he had been asked to "corroborate" his ex-wife's story, but in reality "nothing had happened".

Clifford is standing trial accused of 11 counts of indecent assault against seven girls and women - all of which he denies.

Asked by defence barrister Richard Horwell QC what her motivation for coming to court was, the witness said: "To tell the truth.

"Because I felt that they were not telling the truth."

Questioned about what her ex-boyfriend told her about the alleged victim, she said: "That when they first married she had told him all about this incident.

"She and a friend were outside a club in London and that Max Clifford had offered them a lift home but that nothing had happened."

The witness said he told her his ex-wife had recently "seen an article in the paper where somebody else had made an accusation and she had wanted to jump on the bandwagon".

The woman told jurors: "I was uneasy because I found the expression strange.

"If someone's doing something legitimately why would you want to jump on the bandwagon?

"I found it a peculiar comment. It didn't sit very well with me."

She said that she also overheard a discussion between her ex-boyfriend and his former wife, where one of them had said "nothing much had happened".

"It wasn't the most important case. Something along those lines."

Clifford smiled from the dock as the witness was asked why she kept referring to him as "Sir Max Clifford".

"Why, am I wrong?", she asked.

Wearing a grey blazer and white shirt, Clifford listened to the evidence with the aid of a hearing loop.

The defendant smiled broadly as his brother, Harold Clifford, entered the court room to give evidence as a defence witness.

Mr Clifford, 77, told jurors he suspected his younger sibling had an affair with one woman, but did not know of any others he had extra-marital relationships with.

He added that he would not have expected him to speak to his family of such matters.

Asked if he remembered Clifford playing practical jokes, he replied: "Yes, Max likes a little joke."

A woman who met Clifford when she was on holiday with her family in 1977 told the court she was "shocked" when she heard the allegations against the "wonderful" man.

Charon Pepper said she was 14 when her family met Clifford and his then-wife and daughter in Torremolinos, Spain, and the families have stayed friends ever since.

Asked by Mr Horwell to describe how Clifford was in the resort, she said: "Very polite. Sincere. Always asked 'how are you?' Just a genuinely nice guy."

Questioned if he ever acted inappropriately towards her or if she was aware of him doing so to anyone else, she replied: "Never. Nothing untoward whatsoever."

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