A third complainant who alleged an entertainment industry veteran sexually assaulted her after a project wrap party has taken the stand at his trial.

She claims he groped her a number of times at a hotel room where they had gathered with colleagues.

Then when she left to go to her own room, she says he followed her and banged on the door repeatedly trying to get her to let him in.

The woman is one of three former employees who went to police and made allegations of sexual offending against the man.


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The man is currently on trial in the Auckland District Court facing a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and five of indecent assault.

An interim suppression order prevents the Herald from publishing the man's name or specific details of the work he does in the industry.

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.‌ ‌

Defence lawyer Marie Dyhrberg QC said the man "absolutely denies" any offending.

She said the complainants were "unreliable or mistaken or certainly being untruthful".

The first complainant gave evidence on Monday, alleging she woke on the couch of the man's motel room after a wrap party to find him with his hand down her pants touching her genitals.

The jury heard from the second complainant yesterday.

She says he rubbed her upper thigh at a similar party and told her "if you look after me, I'll look after you".


She was also present when the third alleged assault happened, staying on to work for the man despite her own experience in a bid to prevent him targeting others.

The third complainant was called to court today.

She explained that she had worked in various roles for the accused.

The night of the alleged assault she and the accused went for drinks at "a few places".

They then walked back to their hotel and planned to gather in one room to keep celebrating.

"We were mostly in good spirits, I felt that [he] was hanging around me a lot but I guess I didn't take much notice of it," she said.

"I decided to go back to my room ... I wanted to get enough rest.

"I got into the lift and everyone went to [a colleague's] room and [the accused] stepped into the lift with me.

"At the time I didn't think much of it ... he started saying he wanted to see my room.

"In that moment i just felt alarm bells go off inside and I felt really uncomfortable."

The woman said she tried to change the subject and said she wanted to go and join the others after all but the accused "chastised her".

"He said 'are you scared? Are you scared of me?'" she recalled.

"I kept deflecting, I said 'no I just want to see what the others are doing'."

The pair went to join their group and the complainant sat on one of the beds.

"He came and sat next to me, he started groping me in inappropriate places around my lower area, genitals ... I turned to him and said no and pushed his hands away," she said.

"He kept advancing to do it.

"I moved further down the bed to get away from him then he started reaching across, trying to do the same thing.

"I just kept saying no - it was a hard situation because he was my boss."

She said he groped her buttocks, breast and groin area.

"I just kept saying no ... I pushed his hands away and just tried to ignore him.

"I had never been in that situation before, when a person in a position of authority - my boss - was doing that to me."

She said the accused got up to go to the bathroom and she asked a female colleague - the second complainant - to walk her to her room.

"Lets go now while he's in bathroom," the second complainant said.

The women walked to the lift and the third complainant thought she would be ok to get to her room on her own.

"I went to my room and went to bed.

"[The accused] kept calling and texting me and asking what my room number was."

She put her phone on silent and tried to go to sleep.

She did not answer the phone or respond to any messages.

"After a while I suddenly heard him banging on the door and yelling out my name telling me to let him in," she said.

"I was scared, I didn't know what to do."

She called several male colleagues hoping they could come and get the accused and take him away.

"It was quite relentless, he wouldn't stop.

"After a while I tried to pull myself together and I put on a robe and went and answered.

"I tried to put on a very assertive face and asked him 'what do you want?'

He said: "I want to come in and talk" and told her he was having problems with his partner.

She refused him, saying "no I want to go to sleep, we have work in the morning".

"He kept saying he wanted to come in ... he kept trying to step into the room," the third complainant said.

"Finally I just told him 'you need to go the f**k to bed'.

"I think that stopped him in his tracks momentarily and I just closed the door and he went away."

The woman said she was "really shaken" and "quite scared".

"I didn't know what he was capable of or how far it could have gone," she said.

"I was on my own and there was no one else around ..."

The next day she tried to avoid the accused as they worked.

The day after that she was supposed to have a day off but the accused called her and asked her to work.

She found that "confusing" as there were plenty of staff rostered on and she could not see how she was needed.

"I just hung out with our team on set and helped where I could but there wasn't a lot for me to do.

"He came and sat down at the catering table and he tried to apologise to me about what had happened.

"I didn't know him very well, and with him being my boss, I just said 'ok - don't let it happen again'."

She said she "really enjoyed" her job and the professional opportunities that came with working for the accused.

She did not want to jeopardise that.

Later she travelled overseas with his company as part of a crew working on a major project.

"He hadn't done anything since [the first alleged incident] so I thought it was just a one-off thing," she said.

During that trip he came to her hotel room multiple times on her days off to ask her for things.

"I felt quite uncomfortable ... often it was things he could have asked for the night before or I could have left them at reception.

"Sometimes he came early in the morning, I would be in the shower and he'd be banging on the door and I'd have to get out.

"I felt like he was leering, I could see him looking me up and down."

After that trip the woman was supposed to go on another overseas project.

But in the meantime her relationship broke up and she started seeing a colleague.

She said the accused was aware of the new relationship.

She was then told she was "no longer needed", however the colleague she was seeing was hired.

Soon after that she was contacted by the accused's then-partner

"She had been hearing rumours from people about [the alleged groping incident] and she called me to ask me if that was true," the complainant said.

"Initially I denied it because I didn't want to be the person who broke that news to her - that her partner was a sexual predator.

"I didn't know what to do, I didn't know how to handle it."

She told the court she spoke several times about the alleged incident to the second complainant.

"He started having another young woman working for him ... we were quite concerned," she said.

The second and third complainants went to the police together to make statements.

The third complainant heard from others that the accused had been speaking about her behind her back, saying she was "sleeping with" colleagues and was "a troublemaker".

"My main reason was and is - I didn't want to see this happening again to any young woman either in his department or the industry," she said.

"Knowing the effect it's had on me, I didn't want to see any other young women go through that."

Dyhrberg put to the third complainant that the accused "didn't do anything" to her and that her allegations were "untrue".

"That's incorrect," the woman responded.

"He definitely groped me."

Dyhrberg continued, putting to her that her recollection of an attempted apology was also fabricated.

"He did not apologise to you at all did he? He had nothing to apologise for did he?" she said.

"That's incorrect," the complainant said firmly.

Yesterday, Dyhrberg suggested the second complainant had also fabricated her allegation against the accused.

And she said the second and third complainants had effectively colluded together to pay the accused back for losing their jobs.

Both stand by their statements.

The trial continues.


If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.​

If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone contact the Safe to Talk confidential crisis helpline on:

• Text 4334 and they will respond

• Email support@safetotalk.nz

• Visit https://safetotalk.nz/contact-us/ for an online chat

Alternatively contact your local police station - click here for a list.

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