Sir Philip Green has been charged with four counts of misdemeanour assault in the US after a pilates instructor alleged the Arcadia mogul repeatedly touched her inappropriately, prosecutors have said.
Katie Surridge told police in Arizona that Green spanked and grabbed her bottom during classes in the Canyon Ranch luxury resort in Tucson in 2016 and 2018.
Pima County attorney’s office said he had been charged with four counts of knowingly touching another person with intent to injure, insult, or provoke.
Deputy county attorney Lauren Deakin said: “Philip Green has been formally charged with four misdemeanour assault counts. Each has a potential sentence of up to 30 days in the Pima County jail, a fine of not more than $500 and up to one year of probation.”
An arraignment date has been set at Pima County Justice Court for 19 June.
Green, 67, “strenuously” denied the allegations, with a spokesman saying he was “disappointed” the charges have been lodged.
“Sir Philip strenuously denies these allegations and is disappointed that the charges have been filed in his absence. They are minor categories of misdemeanour in the US,” the Arcadia spokesman said. “Contrary to previous suggestions in the media there is no allegation of any sexual assault or misconduct made by the prosecution.”
The mother of three, who is in her 30s, told police that the “creepy old man” had “vigorously” slapped her bottom up to ten times in January 2016. She was worried about frustrating a “high roller” but decided to tell managers, who said they spoke to Green and assured her it would not happen again.
But Surridge told police that Green came back for another class in January 2018. “This time, instead of slapping my butt, he wraps his hands around my waist and then grabs my butt cheek and just puts his hand there and just holds it there as he’s hugging me,” she said, adding that he went on to pat her stomach.