Rolf Harris ‘confession’ letter read in court: “Why did you never just say no?”

Rolf Harris, 84, is accused of a string of indecent assaults against four alleged victims, the youngest of whom was just seven or eight


by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Rolf Harris wrote a letter to the father of one of his alleged victims admitting to a sexual relationship with her and begging for forgiveness, the jury at his trial has heard.

However the letter, written in March 1997, sees Rolf deny the girl's claims that the veteran entertainer started abusing her when she was just 13, instead claiming that "nothing physical took place" until she was 18 in the early 1980s.

Rolf, who is famed for his work on Animal Hospital, also writes that "everything that had taken place had progressed from a feeling of love and friendship".

He insists that there was "no rape, no physical forcing", but expresses regret and asks for the father's forgiveness.

Rolf was married to current wife Alwen Hughes at the time of the alleged assault, who is supporting her husband at the trial.

Rolf Harris with Alwen Hughes
Rolf Harris with Alwen Hughes

Read the full letter below:

Dear (name cannot be revealed for legal reasons),

Please forgive me for not writing sooner.

You said in your letter to me that you never wanted to see me or hear from me again, now (the alleged victim, who also cannot be named) says it’s all right to write to you.

Since that trip up to Norfolk I have been in a state of abject self loathing. How we delude ourselves.

I fondly imagined that everything that had taken place had progressed from a feeling of love and friendship - there was no rape, no physical forcing, brutality or beating that took place.

When I came to Norfolk, (the girl) told me that she had always been terrified of me and went along with everything that I did out of fear of me.

I said ‘Why did you never just say no?’ And (the girl) said how could she say no to the great television star Rolf Harris.

Until she told me that, I had no idea that she was scared of me.

She laughs in a bitter way and says I must have known that she has always been scared of me.

I honestly don’t know. (The girl) keeps saying that this has all been going on since she was 13. She’s told you that and you were justly horrified, and she keeps reiterating that to me no matter what I said to the contrary.

She says admiring her and telling she looked lovely in her bathing suit was just the same as physically molesting her. I didn’t know.

Nothing took place in a physical way until we had moved to Highlands (in Bray). I think about 1983 or 1984 was the first time. I can pinpoint a date was 1986, because I remember I was in a pantomime at Richmond.

When I see the misery I have caused (the girl) I am sickened by myself.

You can’t go back and change things you have done in this life - I wish to God I could.

When I came to Norfolk, spent that time with (the girl) and realised the enormity of what I had done to (the girl), and how I had affected her whole life, I begged her for forgiveness and she said ‘I forgive you’.

Whether she really meant it or not, I don’t know. I hope she did, but I fear she can never forgive me.

I find it hard to like myself in any way, shape, or form.

And as I do these animal programmes, I see the unconditional love that dogs give to their owners and I wish I could start to love myself again.

If there was any way that I could atone for what I have done, I would willingly do it.

If there is any way I can start to help (the girl) to heal herself, I would willingly do it.

With your permission I’ll phone you in a week to talk to you.

If you hang up, I will understand, but I would like to talk to you to apologise for betraying your trust and for unwittingly so harming your darling (girl).

I know that what I did was wrong but we are, all of us, fallible and oh how I deluded myself.

Please forgive me, love Rolf.

Please forgive me for what must have been the most insensitive thing in your eyes - sending the book for Christmas - Alwen knows nothing about this - at the time and rather than tell her I signed the book and wrote the platitudes with a sinking heart. Forgive me.

Rolf Harris denies 12 counts of indecent assault.

The trial continues.

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