Staring Down rolf harris
Australian Makeup Artist, waives lifetime anonymity from British courts and tells her story for the first time!
Written by Suzi Dent
Narrated by Suzi Dent and Jack Dent
In 2014 the trial of Rolf Harris, “England’s National Treasure” was international front-page news, for months.
I came forward to Operation Yewtree back in 2013 to tell my truth about my day working with Rolf Harris. I am the Australian television makeup artist considered to be the Prosecution’s strongest bad character witness during his trial, famously “staring down Rolf Harris” in the courtroom and describing him on the stand as the “octopus”. I was granted lifelong anonymity by Justice Nigel Sweeney.
Back then there were millions of Rolf fans that were in complete disbelief and could not entertain the fact that the man who made the ‘wobble board’ and his quirky and catchy ditties famous, could possibly be a molester of little girls.
I put myself in the firing line to be hated around the world, regardless of whether I had anonymity or not, because change is not achieved through silence.
For me, coming forward to the British police was a complete no brainer. I was 23 when I was molested by him, not 12 and I wasn’t doing it for me, I was speaking out and stepping up for the women who were little girls when it happened to them, whose lives had been changed forever and they needed me to be brave, to be fearless, to be a warrior!
In the 1980s women were seen and not often heard and if these women didn’t get supported by those of us who knew the truth, then they were just being abused all over again!
Operation Yewtree gave me the chance some 28 years later to be heard! The day after I testified in court, I was found by the BBC and in the weeks after I was approached by reporters and press agencies from around the world to tell my story, but I refused.
The world has changed for women since then and it started in 2014, in the entertainment industry, with a handful of women like me, stepping up, being brave and telling their truths. The #metoo movement has since been born in the US and this has had a huge ripple effect around the world.
I have done a lot of healing since my day in court. I have grown and I have learnt and I have transformed myself over the last 4 years by taking a leap of faith and saying yes to the opportunities that life has sent me.
Now at 57 my life has changed, I am a motivational speaker who inspires others to be the best versions of themselves.The time is now right for me to waive my anonymity and the world is ready to hear my story.