Billionaire’s ‘disgraceful’ $1.8m sex offer
A REALITY TV personality has accused a disgraced fashion tycoon of making an Indecent Proposal-style offer of sex in exchange for a seven-figure payment.
Italian-British lawyer Nancy Dell'Olio, a former contestant on the UK's Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity Big Brother, told The Sun that billionaire Topshop owner Sir Philip Green once offered her £1m - more than $AU1.8 million - to spend the night with him.
The 57-year-old told the publication the "disgraceful" incident, which she claims occurred at a London nightclub in 2010, left her feeling "humiliated".
"Philip pawed at my wrist and told me, 'If you come with me now to my apartment, this night will be worth a million (pounds)'," she said.
"He went on - 'come with me now and it will be worth a million'. I was extremely shocked and offended. He was saying 'come on' until I escaped into a taxi.
"… this man seems to think that with money and power he can buy anything. He had no sense of the frustration and humiliation that he was creating."
Ms Dell-Olio, who once dated Swedish football manager Sven-Göran Eriksson, said she had tried to laugh off the incident at the time.
"I still find it shocking, the things he seemed to have in mind," she told The Sun.
"I had the impression that he was treating me as nothing more than some kind of prostitute."
Ms Dell'Olia's allegations are all the more shocking as Sir Philip has found himself at the centre of a serious bullying, racism and sexual harassment claim.
Rumours have long been swirling that a prominent UK businessman had been implicated in a "British #MeToo scandal", with the Telegraph newspaper prevented from naming the individual for legal reasons despite an eight-month investigation into allegations made against him.
But last week, that businessman was revealed to be Sir Philip.
He was outed by Labour peer Lord Hain, who used parliamentary privilege to name him because "it was in the public interest".
According to The Guardian, at least seven former staff members received "substantial payouts" of up to seven figures to settle their complaints against their boss.
Citing an anonymous source, the publication revealed complaints against Sir Philip included giving female staffers "lingering hugs", asking them if they were "naughty girls" and if they "needed their bottoms slapped", inappropriate touching, name calling and comments about weight as well as "expletive-ridden rages" against male and female staff.
Sir Philip has remained tight-lipped about the scandal, but has "categorically and wholly" denied the allegations in a statement released late last week.
He told the Mail on Sunday the allegations were the result of "some banter" which had "never been offensive".
"I'm very, very, very upset. I'm being used as target practice when there is zero (evidence) that anyone has turned up with. It's injuring my business, all the people potentially working in the business, and it's injuring me and my family," Sir Philip told the Mail.
"It's a horror story. Somebody can say whatever they like and people just follow you around, chasing you and harassing you.
"I've been in business for more than 40 years. There has obviously from time to time been some banter, but as far as I'm concerned that's never been offensive."
In October, Sir Philip came under fire for axing a promotional stand for a new Penguin book of feminist essays in London's Oxford St branch of Topshop. The chain later apologised and donated £25,000 ($AU45,200) to charity.
Sir Philip and his wife Cristina have a net worth of $AU6.49 billion according to Forbes.
The 66-year-old father-of-two is the chairman of the chairman of Arcadia Group, a retail company that owns high-profile businesses including Topshop and Topman, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins.