A prominent Auckland businessman's lawyer has questioned the credibility of the female employees accusing his client of indecent assault, adding that it "simply didn't happen", a court has heard.
The businessman, who has ties to the media industry but has his identity suppressed by the court, is charged with two counts of indecent assault against two women in April 2015.
His judge-alone trial before Judge Eddie Paul is being heard in the Auckland District Court this week.
During the first alleged incident the businessman was travelling with the first complainant to Auckland's North Shore when he reached over and groped her breast in the car, the court heard yesterday.
The employee, who worked as a manager, told the court her boss had initially treated her like a daughter before he "started humiliating me" in front of staff.
The court heard that the businessman would rub shoulders with high-profile politicians and dignitaries, including a foreign head of state during a visit to New Zealand.
The second complainant, who also worked for the businessman, today began recalling her alleged incident which began, she said, with a scheduled meeting about a book deal.
However, after initially agreeing to meet in downtown Auckland, the businessman drove the woman west towards Muriwai Beach, the court head.
"He talked about how he loved to go on long drives," the woman said, adding she became concerned about being driven to an area she wasn't familiar with.
"I thought 'Someone should know where I am'."
The woman began texting a friend the names of streets and places she passed on the drive through West Auckland, during which time the book deal was never discussed and "romantic songs" were played on the car stereo, she said.
She added that the businessman began talking about the "need to get closer" and told her: "It may seem a little off at the beginning but it will be fine given time."
The businessman then reached over and began touching her and rubbing his fingers through her hair, she testified.
When the pair reached Muriwai Beach the woman said she began insisting the businessman take her home so she could pick her daughter up from school.
After some delay they returned to Auckland, after the woman claimed the businessman said: "We should spend time together, find a way to go out with [me] for dinner or drinks."
"I didn't want a relationship at any point," she said.
Later both complainants learned of each other's incidents, with the second woman saying she told the first: "When you feel like you want to sue him, let me know and I will also join you."
When the businessman's lawyer, Paul Dacre, QC, began cross-examining the second woman she admitted there were past issues with the businessman, including a perceived view she had been humiliated and belittled about her status in the company due to a lack of promotion.
Dacre also raised the issue of the second woman's recollection of the date of the alleged offending.
She claims the incident occurred on April 9, 2015 - a date she said was confirmed by the texts she sent to her friend from the car, and remembering that she collected her daughter from school that day.
However, Dacre produced a Ministry of Education term timetable from 2015 which showed April 9 was during the school holiday period.
"Is the date more important than the incident?" the woman asked the Queen's Counsel, adding she may have confused the dates.
"What's important is your credibility," Dacre replied.
Dacre said his client will give evidence later in the trial that the accusations from the women "simply didn't happen", but that there was tension at work over employment issues.
"That would be a big lie," the second woman replied.
The trial continues.