A young man has been accused of attempting to extort money from a wealthy and prominent businessman with claims of sexual assault, a court has heard.
The businessman's trial is now in its second week in the Auckland District Court.
He faces two charges of indecent assault - from February 2008 and October 2016 - and two counts of perverting the course of justice by attempting to dissuade the alleged second victim from giving evidence at his trial.
A well-known entertainer also faces three charges of attempting to dissuade the same man, while the prominent Kiwi's business manager is charged with attempting to dissuade the complainant on one occasion.
The court earlier heard of the first alleged attempt by the entertainer to have the young man drop his claims.
It came after police began investigating the businessman when the second complainant accused him of indecent assault in 2016.
The conversation with the entertainer, in April 2017, was secretly recorded by the second complainant.
"You'd be surprised what money can do to buy people who you might know, you know what I mean? I know they can get nasty, that's what I don't want to see, the most important thing is you," the entertainer can be heard saying.
"He has enough money to buy people to survive ..."
The young man later gave the recording and a photograph of a $15,000 bank cheque he was given by the entertainer to Detective Anthony Darvill, who was investigating the businessman.
The second complainant said he believed the cheque was "hush money".
The entertainer's lawyer, Barbara Hunt, however, today proposed the $15,000 was not a bribe, but rather a donation to help kickstart the young man's career.
But second complainant said he was under the impression the cheque would clear once he talked to well-known criminal defence lawyer, whom the entertainer said could help withdraw the allegations.
"That's her job, she'll go with you, like all the others," the entertainer said.
The lawyer's identity is suppressed.
The second complainant said he was also fearful and had doubts about progressing with his claims because of the industry influence the businessman wielded.
"I knew that this person, who I put this complaint against, had [been involved in these companies]," he said.
"It did intimidate me knowing that I could be blacklisted from these companies."
Hunt claimed the second complainant had a plan to blackmail the prominent Kiwi.
"Your plan was to go to [the businessman's house], to make a complaint, a false complaint, and then to extract money from [the businessman]."
The young man denied the extortion accusation.
He later added the entertainer had warned him that he was "going to be sued for defamation" by the businessman.
"I guess I saw it as a scare tactic," he said.
Last week, the court also heard of the so called "Gold Coast plot" in May 2017.
It involved hiring the public relations expert and spending tens of thousands of dollars to "silence [the complainant]", Crown prosecutor Simon Foote has said.
The Crown alleges the "scheme" was orchestrated by the prominent Kiwi and involved his business manager and the entertainer.
The second complainant spent an afternoon shopping and was wined and dined before for being asked to drop his claims against the businessman, the Crown alleges.
A second covert recording, made by the second complainant at the Gold Coast's Palazzo Versace hotel, was also played to the court.
"... what someone's life is worth ... someone's life is probably worth about $700,000", the second complainant said.
The public relations expert said: "And that's what you want? $700,000? Because a life's worth $700,000.
"And so if he, the person in question ... put that in your account, you'd retract the statement?"
The young man replied: "Immediately."
The PR expert and another person who works with him will later give evidence for the Crown. They have been given immunity from prosecution and their names are temporarily suppressed.
The entertainer is also accused of making a third attempt to dissuade the second complainant in September 2017, just one week before the businessman's trial was first due to begin.
The businessman's lawyer David Jones QC has accused the second complainant of "looking for a pay day".
"You were looking to sell your story for money? Do you believe you can sell your story for money?" Jones asked the young man.
The second complainant denied the accusation.
At the start of the trial, the first complainant told the court he was wined and dined by the businessman at his home in 2008 as the pair discussed financial support for a project.
But, he said, he began to feel "dizzy" and was later indecently assaulted.
Jones said the first complainant was drunk, angry and lying about the alleged crime.
In a police interview, the businessman also told police the claims were "completely untrue" and it was also "impossible" for him to even remember the man accusing him.
All three defendants had their interim name suppression revoked by Judge Russell Collins after a successful legal challenge by the Herald and Stuff. But their names will remain secret after lawyers for the accused indicated an appeal to the High Court.
The jury trial, now in the second of four weeks, continues.