Sir Philip Green, the beleaguered head of British fashion giant Arcadia, the parent company of TopShop, has been accused of several cases of sexist, racist and threatening behaviour towards his employees after an injunction banning publication of the allegations by a newspaper was lifted.
Mr Green’s action against the Daily Telegraph was formally abandoned in the British High Court on Friday, allowing the
paper to run the allegations in its Saturday edition.
He had been named by a parliamentarian in the House of Lords last year as being at the centre of the then-suppressed reports.
Among a slew of damaging revelations, the billionaire was alleged to have paid out more than £1 million for the silence of a senior female Arcadia executive after having groped her and called her a “naughty girl”. He was also alleged to have kissed her face and slapped her bottom.
Mr Green was also alleged to have told a black employee he was still “throwing spears in the jungle”, made fun of his dreadlocks and accused him of smoking cannabis. Other staff complained about his treatment of ethnic minorities; he was said to feel there were “too many black people” in Arcadia.
The executive also complained and was also paid off close to close to £1 million. Both these employees were forced to sign gagging orders – non-disclosure agreements – that forced them to sign their silence over in return for pay-offs.
In response to the accusations, Mr Green’s lawyers admitted in court that he sometimes acted in a “tactile” way and has “prodded and poked individuals”. He told a newspaper: “There has obviously from time to time been some banter, but as far as I’m concerned that’s never been offensive.”
Mr Green has said he “categorically denies any unlawful… sexual behaviour” and denied any “unlawful … racist behaviour”.