Ulrika Jonsson says she was groped by disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris at 21
Ulrika Jonsson has claimed the late disgraced Australian entertainer Rolf Harris groped her early on in her career when he appeared as a guest on a show she was working on.
Harris, who died on May 10 aged 93, was a family favourite for decades before being convicted of a string of indecent assaults in June 2014.
In her column for The Sun newspaper on Saturday, Jonsson, 55, said the incident allegedly occurred on a day when Harris was the showbiz guest on the former ITV breakfast programme TV-am where she worked as a weather presenter at the time.
She wrote: “The studios were laid out such that it was impossible not to bump into guests during the live show.
“I felt quite enamoured to be introduced to him. This was Rolf Harris, for goodness sake.
“I reached out my hand and he chose instead to embrace me.
“I remember thinking that was either really flattering or a bit forward. Either way, it was confusing.
“Then his hand travelled down to my bum, gave it a few squeezes and stayed there for what felt like years but was probably only 30 seconds.
“But it was long enough for my 21-year-old self to feel deeply uncomfortable, and speechless.
“I know I won’t have been the only one who fell victim to his hands.”
The TV presenter added that people “didn’t pipe up or call anyone out” at this time around 35 years ago, especially if they were of a celebrity status.
“We may have come a long way in making that kind of behaviour unacceptable but we still have miles to travel”, she noted.
Following Harris’ death, presenter Vanessa Feltz also said she felt Harris “knew” she “couldn’t do anything” about him allegedly groping her live during a segment when she was presenting Channel 4’s morning talk show The Big Breakfast – which previously aired from 1992 to 2002.
Recalling the incident on This Morning on Wednesday, Feltz said “she could hear” her dress being “scrunched up” by Harris while she was the on-the-bed interviewer.
She added: “For all I knew I was the only person that had ever happened to, I didn’t know… Nobody had ever said a bad word about him in front of me.”
Feltz said police went to her house in 2013 to ask about footage from the incident.
Harris was the second person convicted under the high-profile sex crime investigation Operation Yewtree, set up in the wake of abuse claims made against late DJ and entertainer Jimmy Savile.
Harris was jailed for five years and nine months after being convicted of 12 assaults which took place between 1968 and 1986.
Mr Justice Sweeney told him: “Your reputation lies in ruins. You have been stripped of your honours and you have no-one to blame but yourself.”
In May 2017, Harris was formally cleared of four unconnected historical sex offences, which he had denied.
Later the same year, one of the 12 indecent assault convictions was overturned by the Court of Appeal.
On May 19 2017, Harris was released on licence, less than three years after his sentence began.
His death certificate, filed at Maidenhead Town Hall and seen by the PA news agency, lists the causes of death as neck cancer and “frailty of old age”.
Harris died at his home in Bray, Berkshire.