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Rolf Harris begged for forgiveness over sex abuse claim

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May 09, 2014 | 10:06am EDT

Australian entertainer Rolf Harris penned a letter to the father of an alleged sex abuse victim begging him for forgiveness, a court in London has heard. The 84-year-old singer/artist is accused of indecently assaulting four females, who were aged between seven and 19, between 1968 and 1986. A jury at Southwark Crown Court in south London heard on Friday (09May14) how Harris groomed and molested a friend of his daughter's from the age of 13 to 29. He lived near the girl's family in London during the 1960s and allegedly abused her at his house. Harris admits having an affair with the complainant but insists it was consensual and denies it began when she was just 13, the jury was told. Prosecutor Sasha Wass, QC, told the court the girl's father had contacted Harris in the 1990s to confront him about his daughter's claims of sex abuse, and in 1997 Harris replied, begging for forgiveness. The letter, shown to the jury, reads, "Please forgive me for not writing sooner... I have been in a state of abject self-loathing. How we delude ourselves. I fondly imagined that everything that had taken place had progressed from a feeling of love and friendship - there was no rape, no physical forcing, brutality or beating that took place. When I see the misery I have caused... I am sickened by myself... (and) realised the enormity of what I had done... and how I had affected her whole life, I begged her for forgiveness. "I would like to talk to you to apologise for betraying your trust... I know that what I did was wrong... please forgive me, love Rolf." Harris denies 12 counts of indecent assault. The trial continues.

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