The Tonya Lee allegation was equally false although she had at least met Rolf. Two female fans of Rolf – one who is known to me – carried out their own investigation including visiting the public house where Lee alleged Rolf had groped her. They even set up a website.
After the Dave Lee Travis retrial, the falsely accused DJ stood outside Southwark Crown Court and thanked his legal team, including private investigator William Merritt. I looked up Merritt, was very impressed with him, and wrote to Rolf in prison advising him to hire Merritt. The rest is history.
Not content with trashing Rolf’s reputation and his life, the powers-that-be were intent on keeping him in prison until he died. Thanks to William Merritt and his team, they did not succeed. The new crop of false accusers were rejected by juries. Regarding Rolf’s convictions, the Court Of Appeal quashed the Wendy Wild conviction, one that should never have been made out, even though the Crown opposed it to the bitter end. Sadly, they did not quash the Tonya Lee conviction, otherwise they would have to have ordered a retrial.
I have to stress that I was never a big Rolf Harris fan, but for all my childhood and adult life there were three people ever present: the Queen, Shirley Bassey, and Rolf Harris. The Queen is easily explained. Shirley Bassey was a favourite of my adoptive mother because of her emotional performances. I think with Rolf it was because one of my earliest memories was of hearing him sing Sun Arise. Now there remains only the Diva living in semi-retirement in Monaco, 86 years young.
If there is one thing that annoys me almost as much as this witch-hunt it is the fact that some people who have committed worse crimes inarguably, are not judged by the same standard. Mike Tyson committed a planned and quite ruthless date rape on a gullible teenager. He is also a self-confessed wife-beater, a convicted thug, and has a stupid tattoo on his face into the bargain, yet he is still used as an occasional sports pundit. Roman Polanski drugged and sexually violated a 13 year old then fled the country; he remains a fugitive at large, yet what did Whoopi Goldberg say about him? It wasn’t “rape-rape”. Seriously?
Aside from that, Rolf’s big mistake was being honest. If he had simply denied having an affair with his youthful accuser, his life and reputation would not have been trashed. Bill Cosby made the same mistake. Sadly, this is the world in which we now live.
Back To Part 1.