Rolf Harris arrives at court with his wife Alwen Hughes and daughter Bindi. Photo: AFP
Tonya Lee has admitted she was wrong in her recollection of a sexual assault by Rolf Harris.
But she insisted she only got the date wrong, not details of the assault itself.
Harris’s barrister Sonia Woodley, QC, accused Ms Lee of inventing an account of a sexual assault by Rolf Harris because she was in debt and wanted money from media interviews.
“There was no physical interaction between you and Rolf Harris and there was no sexual touching by him of any kind at all,” Ms Woodley said.
“That’s incorrect,” Ms Lee said.
Ms Lee told a court on Tuesday she had just begun a “dream” trip to London with a youth theatre group in 1986 when Harris invited her to sit on his knee in a London pub then sexually abused her. He then attacked her again outside the pub bathroom, she told Southwark Crown Court.
However in cross-examination by Ms Woodley, Ms Lee was shown an itinerary of the tour, which showed the evening at the pub with Harris happened six days before the end of the tour after weeks of travel.
“I can see that … my dates were wrong,” Ms Lee said. “But I know what happened.”
She said she was “at fault” on the timeline. “I am not perfect, I am not a robot,” she said.
On re-examination she told prosecutor Sasha Wass, QC: "There is no doubt in my mind ... I am very clear in my mind about both assaults."
On Tuesday Ms Lee claimed that the attack by Harris had triggered anorexia and bulimia, and by the end of the tour she had already lost up to six kilograms.
But she admitted that given the timeline she must have been losing weight on the tour before the attack.
“Obviously I can’t blame Rolf Harris,” she said. “[The night at the pub] happened at the end of the tour, I can see that here.”
Ms Woodley said Ms Lee had told doctors her eating disorder started when she was 11, long before the tour.
Ms Woodley also cast doubt on Ms Lee’s claim that the attack caused her to give up on her acting ambitions.
Soon after returning from the tour she auditioned for, and won a role in an ABC TV pilot called TV Hackers.
Ms Lee said she was not the same after the tour, but “I didn’t just give up”.
Ms Woodley also closely questioned Ms Lee over her $60,000 media deal in May 2013, negotiated by agent Max Markson, with Woman’s Day and A Current Affair.
Ms Lee confirmed that she had several debts, of more than $10,000, at the time she told her story to police and the media.
“You exaggerated to make a better story,” Ms Woodley said.
She said Ms Lee had an argument with her partner when he realised she was making up part of the account, when she was assaulted outside the bathroom. “He said ‘that’s bullshit’,” Ms Woodley said.
“That’s completely untrue,” Ms Lee said.
Ms Lee insisted her main aim all along was to talk to police about the attack by Harris.
Ms Woodley said Ms Lee had lied to local police, giving them excuses why she hadn’t turned up for an interview. But Ms Lee said she didn’t recall the conversation that the lawyer was referring to.
Ms Lee said she had tried to contact local police but had been put off by media who had been tipped off and were waiting at the station. She eventually got in contact with British police by calling Crimestoppers.
Harris, 84, has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of indecent assault against four complainants.
The last three of the charges relate to Ms Lee.