How was Philip Green named in UK #MeToo scandal? Euronews Answers

Sir Philip Green
Sir Philip Green Copyright REUTERS
Copyright REUTERS
By Pauline Bock
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A British politician has used Parliament's free-speech guarantee to name a prominent businessman who is accused of sexual harassment and secured a court order barring the media from revealing his identity.


The businessman at the centre of a British sexual harassment scandal has been named as Sir Philip Green, the owner of a number of major British clothing retail brands including Topshop.

His name had not previously been published by the media due to an injunction.

How was he named?

Green, 66, was named by Lord Peter Hain, a former Leader of the House of Commons, who spoke under parliamentary privilege, a rule that allows politicians in the British parliament to speak freely without threat of legal consequences.

He said that revealing Philip Green’s identity was his “duty”.

He said: “My Lords, I have been contacted by someone intimately involved in the case of a powerful businessman using non-disclosure agreements and substantial payments to conceal about serious and repeated sexual harassment, racist abuse and bullying which is compulsively continuing, I feel it’s my duty under parliamentary privilege to name Philip Green as the individual in question, given that the media have been subject to an injunction preventing the publication of the full details of a story which is clearly in the public interest.”

Why couldn't the media publish his name?

On Tuesday, the British newspaper The Telegraph revealed that an eight-month-long probe investigating accusations of sexual harassment and bullying against an unnamed British businessman had been banned from being published due to an injunction by England’s second highest judge.

“The accusations against the businessman, who cannot be identified, would be sure to reignite the #MeToo movement against the mistreatment of women, minorities and others by powerful employers”, The Telegraph wrote in an article explaining the case without naming Green.

What was the ruling?

The judicial intervention, made by the head of the Court of Appeal, Sir Terence Etherton (whose official title is Master of the Rolls), made it illegal for the newspaper to publish the businessman’s identity or the companies he owned, as well as details about the allegations raised against him or about the sums he had paid his alleged victims.

The 20-page ruling from the Court of Appeal, which was published on Tuesday, describes the allegations as amounting to “discreditable conduct” while simply referring to the businessman as “ABC”. It mentions five cases of “substantial payments” that were made to five people as part of “non-disclosure agreements” (NDAs).

Green denies 'unlawful sexual or racist behaviour'

 Green has said he "categorically and wholly denies" allegations of "unlawful sexual or racist behaviour".

In a statement released after he was named in parliament as the businessman behind an injunction against the Daily Telegraph, he said: "I am not commenting on anything that has happened in court or was said in Parliament today.

"To the extent that it is suggested that I have been guilty of unlawful sexual or racist behaviour, I categorically and wholly deny these allegations.

"Arcadia and I take accusations and grievances from employees very seriously and in the event that one is raised, it is thoroughly investigated.

"Arcadia employs more than 20,000 people and in common with many large businesses sometimes receives formal complaints from employees.

"In some cases these are settled with the agreement of all parties and their legal advisers.

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