An entertainment industry veteran charged with sexually assaulting three former female employees will not give evidence at his trial.

But he is calling a number of witnesses to support his version of events - that he did not offend against anyone, and that the complainants are either mistaken or have not told the

The man was charged after three women - all former employees - went to police and made allegations of sexual offending against the man.

The man has been on trial in the Auckland District Court since Monday 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.‌ ‌

All three alleged assaults happened at end-of-project wrap parties.

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

After the jury heard the Crown case, which closed just after 4pm after the playing of a video of the accused's police interview, the defence opened.

Dyhrberg made a short opening statement before calling the first witness.

She said there were "flaws" in the Crown case but it was not the appropriate time to outline those yet.

She reminded the jury to keep an open mind and listen to the defence case carefully.

"You have to be sure and convinced," she said.


"What we will be doing is producing evidence that assists and supports evidence you've already heard from [the accused]."

Dyhrberg has already grilled complainants on whether they fabricated allegations or worked together to make up the details of assaults in a bid to exact revenge on her client when he ended their employment with his company.

The court has heard multiple times that the accused is said to be the top person in his section of the industry - and there is little work for people in that area outside his employ.

The defence claims the women effectively colluded to "bring down" or "take out" the accused and his company and destroy his career and reputation as payback for losing work.

Dyhrberg will call on people who worked with the man and/or the complainants along with his former partner and others.

She urged the jury to remember that her client was innocent until proven guilty - and the only way they could find him guilty was on the evidence they heard in court.

"A charge is the mechanism to bring [the accused] into this courtroom to answer allegations made - it is no more than that

"He is just here to answer those charges."

Dyhrberg said neither she or the Crown had to prove motive.

"That does not stop the defendant coming to you and saying 'look, they have lied about this, they have made this up - I can't solve the mystery but this is what I think it's about and this is what I think is why'.

"So that's where motive is going to fit into the scheme of things."

She said as far the first complainant was concerned, the defence case was simple.

"She does not know, she cannot be sure," Dyhrberg stated.

The first witness for the defence is a man who knows the accused and the second and third complainants.

He was present the night the third alleged assault took place.

A group of colleagues, including the complainant, went to dinner and had drinks before deciding to go back to a hotel room to continue celebrating.

The woman claims that the accused groped her repeatedly and followed her to her hotel room when she left.

He banged on her door for some time, trying to get into her room.

She refused, and said the incident made her scared and shaken.

The witness spoke to the complainant the next day.

"She said to me that [the accused] had knocked on her door," he said.

She did not tell him anything else.

The second complainant was also there the night of the alleged third incident.

She earlier told the court that she had a conversation with the witness about the "inappropriate" behaviour of the accused.

The witness said the conversation never happened after the alleged incident and that was not why he left his job.