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Sir Philip Green assault case dismissed in US

Simon Goodley
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Sir Philip Green will no longer face charges of misdemeanour assault in the US, after four counts alleging he repeatedly touched a pilates instructor inappropriately were dismissed.

The retail tycoon had been formally charged with “knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke” in May last year.

He was accused of spanking the instructor and grabbing her buttocks at the Canyon Ranch resort in Tucson, Arizona, in 2016 and 2018, according to the Pima County attorney’s office.

However, at the request of the prosecution, Justice Vince Roberts dismissed the case at the end of last week, according to a court document released to the media by Green’s company Arcadia.

Green’s behaviour had come under scrutiny after the former Labour cabinet minister Peter Hain used parliamentary privilege in 2018 to name the Topshop tycoon as the businessman at the centre of harassment allegations.

The move followed days of speculation over the identity of a mystery businessman described by the Daily Telegraph as the subject of multiple sexual harassment and bullying allegations.

Green, 67, has always denied any unlawful behaviour.

The court filing released by Green’s Arcadia Group on Monday stated: “Upon application of the Pima County attorney [Barbara LaWall], and for good cause being shown. It is hereby ordered that the above captioned cause is dismissed with prejudice,” ie permanently.

A spokesman for the tycoon said: “These matters are now closed,” and added there were no outstanding civil or criminal cases in either the UK or the US relating to allegations about Green’s behaviour.

The attorney’s office did not respond to calls from the Guardian.

The filing from Arizona was a rare piece of recent good news for Green, who has encountered almost as many business as legal problems over the past 18 months.

In December he secured a last-ditch £310m mortgage deal for his flagship Topshop store on Oxford Street in London with the US private equity company Apollo Management International. The deal appeared to be a relief to Green’s Arcadia – which also controls high-street brands including Miss Selfridge, Wallis and Evans – as it had said that difficulties in refinancing the loan could mean it would have to raise new funds to survive.

Last week Green announced a fresh wave of store closures in the wake of a tough Christmas. Arcadia had quietly confirmed the closure of at least 12 sites in the past few weeks, including one of its most high-profile stores at Westfield Stratford in east London.

Several of the stores house more than one of Arcadia’s brands but the majority include a Topshop. Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Miss Selfridge shops are also due to close in the initiative. Arcadia owns 484 stores in the UK and employs 19,000 people.

The landlords behind several of the closure sites – in Wolverhampton, Newbury, Blackburn, Bolton, Aylesbury and Worthing – had already agreed to 70% rent cuts as part of the rescue restructure finalised last year, but that had not been enough to save the outlets.

A further 25 stores are likely to shut as, at the time of its restructuring in June last year, Arcadia said it planned to put the property arms of Evans and Miss Selfridge into administration.