Fiona Robertson’s Playwright Client Acquitted of Groping Young Actress
A jury took just fifteen minutes to acquit Fiona Robertson’s client of sexually assaulting a young actress he was rehearsing with at the Royal Court Theatre.
The defendant met the complainant by chance through his employment at the Royal Court Theatre and had offered her a part in a showcase he was putting on. The pieces the complainant was involved in were group pieces but when the complainant attended the rehearsal the rest of the group were not present. The prosecution alleged that during the rehearsal the complainant had told the defendant she was not interested in sex or relationships as a means of establishing a boundary between them. Despite this, the defendant had turned off the lights in the rehearsal room and circled her moving closer and closer. The complainant alleged that the defendant took off her hair band, held her hands behind her back touched her inappropriately and rubbed himself against her, she alleged he appeared aroused as he did so. It was alleged that afterwards the defendant had said “It was fun doing that knowing you are not interested”.
The defendant, 57, accepted he had switched off the lights as a common acting technique to make the complainant less self conscious in moving. He accepted he touched the actress, 20, in the manner described but denied he had been grabbing or groping her. He asserted the touching was part of fluid, dance movements in the context of the sexualised poetry they were rehearsing. He insisted the touching was creatively, not sexually, motivated and that he believed she was consenting to it throughout. He denied he had got carried away in the rehearsal insisting he always operated from a place of decency when rehearsing with actresses.
After a three day trial the jury unanimously acquitted Mr David in fifteen minutes.
Fiona Robertson was instructed by Nick Gay of Hallinan Blackburn Gitting and Nott LLP.
The case was covered in the local and national news: