…By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.
During an appearance on This Morning, Vanessa Feltz recounted an incident in which she claims Rolf Harris allegedly groped her while she was presenting Channel 4’s morning talk show, The Big Breakfast.
Feltz, who was conducting an interview on a bed, said she heard her dress being “scrunched up” by Harris during the live segment.
Shocked by the situation, Feltz explained that she felt unable to speak up or take action due to Harris’ fame, the live television setting, and the presence of children in the audience.
Silenced by the Circumstances:
Feltz expressed her shock at the behavior of Harris, whom she and many others had adored.
The daytime talk show was a family-friendly program, making it even more difficult for Feltz to address the alleged groping incident openly.
She felt that Harris intentionally took advantage of the circumstances, knowing that she was unable to respond or confront him.
Immediate Reaction and Police Inquiry:
Realizing she had to act, Feltz abruptly called for a break, a move typically not permitted for TV presenters, and quickly left the bed.
At the time, she believed she was the only person who had experienced such inappropriate behavior from Harris, as nobody had spoken negatively about him in front of her.
In 2013, the police visited Feltz’s house to inquire about the incident and footage related to it.
Harris’ Conviction and Legacy:
Rolf Harris became the second person to be convicted under Operation Yewtree, a high-profile investigation into sex crimes following revelations about late DJ and entertainer Jimmy Savile.
In 2014, Harris was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison for 12 counts of indecent assault committed between 1968 and 1986.
His reputation was severely damaged, and he was stripped of his honors.
In 2017, Harris was cleared of four unrelated historical sex offenses, while one of the 12 indecent assault convictions was overturned by the Court of Appeal.
Death and Final Days:
Rolf Harris passed away at the age of 93 on May 10, 2023, at his residence in Bray, Berkshire.
The official cause of death, as listed on his death certificate, was neck cancer and frailty of old age.
His release on license had occurred in May 2017, less than three years into his sentence.
The incident involving Vanessa Feltz highlights the controversial legacy left behind by Rolf Harris.
Changes in This Morning’s Hosting:
This Morning, which was hosted by Alison Hammond and Craig Doyle on the mentioned day, has undergone shifts in its presenting lineup, with Phillip Schofield leaving the show and Holly Willoughby taking an early half-term holiday leave.
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