Sir Philip Green Says He Will 'Turn Gay' In Extraordinary Tirade Against Reporters

It follows allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse, which the billionaire denies.
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<strong>Green when confronted last week by Sky News.</strong>
Green when confronted last week by Sky News.
Sky News

Sir Philip Green launched an extraordinary tirade against reporters in which he said he would “turn gay” and proposition a man when he was questioned about new sexual harassment claims.

Journalists from the Telegraph asked the Topshop owner if there was any truth to allegations he had once offered Nancy Dell’Olio £1 million to spend the night with him.

Speaking from the luxury health resort in Arizona, where he has been staying since the revelations broke last week, he replied: “I’m going to proposition you, actually. I’m going to turn gay in a minute. You can write that down. How’s that?”

He added the claim was “nonsense” and that “she should be so lucky” – thought to be a reference to Dell’Olio.

Green later rang the the Telegraph’s offices in London, and said: “Do you not think there’s a point here where your manners need to change so we don’t get into a very, very, very, very ugly place?”

On Thursday, former Labour cabinet minister Lord Hain used parliamentary privilege to name the retail tycoon as the individual behind a legal injunction preventing the Telegraph publishing “confidential information” from five employees.

Green has rejected the allegations of racial abuse and sexual harassment of staff, saying “there has obviously from time to time been some banter, but as far as I’m concerned that’s never been offensive”.

He also said he had been used for “target practice”.

“I’m very, very upset. I’m being used as target practice. It’s injuring my business, all the people potentially working in the business, and it’s injuring me and my family,” he said.

“If anything I’ve said has caused offence, I’m happy to apologise. Nothing I’ve said was ever meant to be offensive.

“The whole thing is distressing. I repeat I have never, ever sexually harassed anybody. It’s nonsense.”

Sir Philip has said he intends to lodge a formal complaint with the House of Lords authorities over Lord Hain for failing to declare he was a paid adviser to the law firm representing the Telegraph when he made his intervention.

Lord Hain said he was unaware that the firm, Gordon Dadds, was involved in the case when he spoke and dismissed Sir Philip’s allegation as a “malevolent diversion”.

“I stand resolutely by what I’ve said and neither retract nor apologise for standing up for human rights,” he told the Press Association.

Lord Hain has been criticised by some lawyers and legal experts for what they say was an abuse of parliamentary privilege, although he has been backed by many MPs.

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