The night after he allegedly sexually assaulted a female employee, an entertainment industry veteran reportedly told a friend she had accused him of rape.

That friend has today given evidence in court about the night of the alleged assault - which happened when he was sleeping nearby.

The man - no longer friends with the accused - also spoke about how the complainant behaved the next day.

"She was very quiet and upset," said the witness, who cannot be named.


"She didn't say anything but she liked to stick very close to me.

"She was very anxious about where she was."

He did not push the woman, but later spoke to the accused.

"He said to me something along the lines of 'bro, she said I raped her but she's crazy, she's on antidepressants'.

"I do remember his words quite clearly... it was quite shocking."

The defence has questioned the witness' evidence, suggesting he only got involved with the case because he is in competition with the accused in business and wants to get ahead of him.

'I trusted that man' - Woman testifies about alleged sex assault by entertainment industry boss
Entertainment industry veteran on trial, accused of sex assaults on three women

The accused - who has interim name suppression - is accused of sexually assaulting three women at separate wrap parties between 2007 and 2014.

He has pleaded not guilty to six charges - one of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and five of indecent assault.

His trial began in the Auckland District Court yesterday before Judge Russell Collins.


The suppression order prohibits the Herald from publishing the specifics of his work.

However, it can be reported that he has been involved with a number of high-profile film and television projects in New Zealand and around the world, including working with Disney and Netflix - and some significant retail brands.

"All are younger than him, all three of them were sexually assaulted by him while working for him," Crown prosecutor Hannah Clark told the court yesterday.

"All three times it was when everyone had been drinking… at a celebratory function towards the end of filming."

The first woman said the man undid her pants and touched her genitals as she slept.

The second woman alleges the accused rubbed her thigh at another party.

Clark told the jury that as he touched her, he said to her: "you look after me and I'll look after you".


Her husband saw the interaction but the woman begged him "please don't say anything I don't want to lose my job".

She kept working for the accused after the alleged incident because she "felt like a minder trying to make sure other people weren't in the same situation she was in".

"Then he did it to someone else, and he did it in front of her," said Clark.

That woman is the third complainant.

At a third wrap party she attended the accused allegedly groped her several times.

She moved away several times then left - but he followed her to her room and banged repeatedly on her door.


The man's lawyer Marie Dyhrberg QC said he "absolutely denies" the charges.

She questioned how truthful and reliable the complaints were.

"The complainants… are unreliable or mistaken or certainly being untruthful," she said.

"The one party who is being honest in all of this and being truthful is [the man]."

Yesterday the jury heard from the first alleged victim.

They were played her police video interview, and then she appeared in court via an audio visual link.

The witness this morning told the court what he remembered about the night of the first alleged assault.


He said a large group went out drinking to celebrate the end of filming and most people had about 12 beverages.

He told police he was "pretty p*ssed".

He was the roommate of the accused during the film project - the men shared a motel
unit that had several bedrooms.

The accused slept in one and the witness in another.

The night of the first alleged assault the witness recalled the complainant coming back to the motel with a friend to sleep as they were not able to drive home due to drinking.

He said he went to sleep in his own bed, and woke up there the next day.


The first he heard about the alleged offending was when the accused told him the
complainant said "he'd raped her".

The complainant's then-partner contacted the witness "a couple of months later" to ask him about that night.

"He asked me if I knew of anything that happened that night," he said.

"I said I didn't know, I'm not sure what happened."

In 2017 the second complainant contacted the witness and revealed she had taken her own allegation of sexual assault to police.

He then contacted the first complainant to see if she also wanted to speak to police.


Under cross examination Dyhrberg questioned the witness' motives for getting involved with the case.

She put it to him that he worked in a role that was in competition with the accused.

She produced an email that showed the witness communicating to a production company
that he had "real concerns" that the accused's company could not deliver "quality" services
to an upcoming project.

Dyhrberg said the witness tried to "undermine" the accused.

"The outcome of these proceedings are obviously of interest to you given your career," she said.

She then quizzed him on his involvement with the complainants and why he had encouraged the first woman to come forward.


The witness said his main concern with the court case was to see "justice".

He rejected the inference that he was involved with the case to "benefit" his career.

The trial continues.


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If you have been abused, remember it's not your fault.