A jury in the trial of a high-profile entertainment industry veteran charged with sexually assaulting three women who worked for him have heard closing addresses from the Crown and defence.
The man is on trial in the Auckland District Court before Judge Russell Collins.
He is facing a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and five of indecent assault.
The man vehemently denies the charges and his defence is that the first woman is mistaken and the other two have lied and even worked together to fabricate allegations to destroy his career.
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, and some significant retail brands.
Defence lawyer Marie Dyhrberg QC said the man "absolutely denies" any offending.
The trial started last week and is now in its sixth day.
The Crown: you can be sure he is guilty
Today Crown prosecutor Hannah Clark said the offending was similar in that it happened to young women working for the accused, when projects were wrapping up, after he had been drinking and when his then-partner was not there.
"The Crown says that he was drunk and he helped himself," she said.
The first complainant alleges the man sexually violated her as she slept on a couch in his motel room following a wrap party for the project he hired her to work on.
The second woman says the man rubbed her thigh at another party, and made a suggestive comment.
The third alleges he groped her repeatedly at a hotel room following a wrap party - while surrounded by other colleagues.
When she left the room to get away from him, the complainant says he followed her to hotel room and banged on the door trying to get in.
Clark said the jury could be sure the women were telling the truth and the physical acts "did happen at the hands of this man".
She said the first alleged incident was more than 10 years ago and while the complainant did not have a "vivid" memory of everything she did and said around that time, she was certain about that night.
"If you wake up to your boss's fingers in your vagina - chances are that is not something you are going to forget," Clark said.
"She is sure about what happened to her, and she is sure it was this man."
She rejected the suggestion the other complainants lied about their alleged assault, or "got together" to collude against the man in a "vitriolic" attack as a result of losing jobs.
The defence suggested both women were angry at the accused when they were not rehired for future projects, and as a result, set about trying to "bring down" his business and reputation.
"That simply did not happen … You can safely place this conspiracy theory to one side," said Clark.
"They have described exactly what happened, and nothing more - and that is because they have told you the truth.
"If they had got together to make this up they could have said anything, they could have said this happens all the time … and they could have said this was a lot more physically invasive."
Clark revisited the evidence that the jury had heard during the Crown case including witnesses who spoke about what the complainants told them after the alleged assaults.
She said the jury "certainly can be sure" that the accused is guilty of the first assault.
"The key reasons that you can be sure that this man is guilty … first (the complainant) is very clear in her evidence about what happened to her," she stated.
"She looked him right in the eye that night when she woke up and realised what he was doing to her - and that's why he stopped … It did in fact happen.
"You can be sure - because she is sure … that it was definitely him … it's clear as day, essentially."
Clark said the second complainant should also be believed.
The alleged assault - albeit brief - was witnessed by the complainant's husband and both were telling the truth.
"(The complainant) told you the truth … you can accept her evidence about that," Clark said.
"For this conspiracy theory to get any wings at all (the complainant's husband) had to be in on it too."
Clark said that was not viable. He was no longer in a relationship with the woman and had no reason to lie.
"He came to court and told you what he saw," said Clark.
"The conspiracy theory is simply ridiculous. They have not got together, the three of them, and made this up.
"If they did do that, they could have made anything up and you'd think if you had this three-way plan to cause the demise of an international company you'd come up with something more than that, wouldn't you?"
Clark said the second and third complainants did not present "streamlined" evidence or the same version of events "blow by blow".
"They've come to court and told you what they remember," she explained.
Clark said defence evidence about the second complainant having issues at work with colleagues was "a sideshow".
The moment the jury needed to focus on was "what did he do in that bar?".
In terms of the third complainant, Clark also encouraged the jury to believe her evidence.
"She has told you what happened ... she told you the truth, she was credible, reliable," she reasoned.
Clark said the second and third complainants should not be judged for speaking together about their alleged assaults.
"They shouldn't be criticised for supporting each other - either then, or now," she said.
Ultimately, she urged the jury to believe all three complainants and find the accused guilty on all six charges he is facing.
"What the Crown says is that you've heard from three different women in this trial," Clark said.
"All three times he has employed these women, they are all younger than him, they are all working for him.
"He was drinking, he lost inhibition ... He did touch these women in the way they have described.
"You can believe all three of these woman and you can be sure he is guilty on all charges."
The defence: entertainment boss is not guilty
Dyhrberg said the only thing the jury had to establish is whether they believed the accused based on his police video interview - or whether there was reasonable doubt.
If the latter - "that's the end of it".
She said the man gave an "honest upfront account as best he could remember" and was not guilty.
Dyhrberg, like the Crown, worked her way through each of the complaints and reminded the jury of the defence position on each.
She questioned the veracity of the allegations and the credibility of the women behind them.
Dyhrberg started with the second complainant and said she and her former husband - who saw the alleged assault - should not be believed.
"When you stand back and critically analyse what they have said and you say 'does that all ring true?' - the defence says absolutely not; it cannot possible ring true," she said.
She said if the jury had any doubt at all about where the alleged assault took place - which has been disputed - "the Crown case falls over".
"The defence says that (she) is lying," she said.
"They have made up these allegations… they just do not bear up to analysis."
Dyhrberg said the woman being let go from the accused's employ spurred her to fabricate the allegation.
She said that situation provided "the platform and the seed for her real resentment" and "desire to bring about his downfall".
"She's' redundant and she's been passed over and she's bitter," she said.
Dyhrberg said the woman's evidence was "fabricated".
"The defence is very, very clear - she is not to be believed."
She then turned to connection between the second and third complainant and said they had colluded for "revenge".
They even made their police statements together.
"Together and individually they have connived and put in place a plan to bring (the accused) down," she said of the women.
"They knew in this climate and that industry - that is enough for (the accused) not to continue with jobs, status, work.
"And we know in the public domain, that in this climate - that's all it needs.
"They have been in cahoots, they have been working as a team."
Dyhrberg said the third complaint was "absolutely extraordinary".
And the first simply could not be believed.
"(She) doesn't know what happened… you cannot rely on her for you to be sure, at all," the lawyer said.
"We the defence say she doesn't know what happened at all.
"Human memory is fraught with the ability, the capacity to get things wrong… but really meaningful things you will remember."
The defence said the jury had to be sure, beyond reasonable doubt, that it was the accused who assaulted the sleeping woman.
She said the woman's version of events was effectively "just nonsense".
"It all sounds very odd," said Dyhrberg.
She was not accusing the first complainant of lying - but said her account of the alleged assault was inaccurate.
"An honest witness can nonetheless be a mistaken witness," she said.
"They get into a situation where they firmly believe - firmly - that someone's done something. But they are wrong.
"She has tried to make sense of something she is not sure about and that is the danger - where false inference have been made, false recall of facts.
"Good witnesses are saying she wasn't sure, good people."
Dyhrberg finished by asking the jury to apply their common sense when considering the evidence and deliberating.
She said the second and third complainant had their own motivation to set up and accuse their employer - bringing him to court and potentially ruining his life.
The first was given confidence to think the accused was her attacker based on the fact that there were "others".
"She does not know," Dyhrberg reminded them.
"You have to be sure beyond reasonable doubt.
"It would be too easy to wrongfully convict... the defence is sure that the Crown evidence is nowhere near good enough.
"The law prevails here, the law. That is your role here, that the law will prevail and if it does then the proper verdicts on all these charges is not guilty."
The jury will return tomorrow to hear Judge Collins' summing up.
They will then be sent to deliberate their verdicts.