British tycoon charged with spanking fitness teacher in US

Sir Philip Green

Sir Philip Green

British Billionaire and Topshop tycoon, Sir Philip Green, 67, has been charged with assault in the USA after a pilates instructor alleged he repeatedly touched her inappropriately.

The allegations of assault were made by Pilates instructor Katie Surridge who told police in Arizona that Green touched her inappropriately at the Canyon Ranch resort in Tucson.

"Sir Philip strenuously denies these allegations and. they are minor categories of misdemeanour in the United States", Arcadia Group said in a statement on Green's behalf.

A date for the first court hearing has been set for 19 June at Pima County Court.

In a police interview obtained by the British news agency, Surridge told Pima County Detective David Stivers that the "creepy old man" had "vigorously" slapped her bottom in January 2016.

The complainant alleges Green made uncomfortable comments and patted her exposed stomach as she demonstrated an exercise, leaving her in tears.

Ms Khoury, who was 54 at the time of the police interview in February, said she found it "disturbing" and spoke to senior management at the ranch.

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A homeowner at the resort, described by police as an independent witness, gave an account to police of what she claims to have seen in 2016.

"And then he removed his hand and brought it back".

A spokesman for Sir Philip told the Daily Telegraph in February this year when the allegations were first reported: "All this was investigated by Canyon Ranch at the time".

The statement said Sir Philip would be represented by his lawyer in court as he was not required to attend personally.

It emerged earlier on Friday that pensions watchdogs are demanding Sir Philip hands another £50m to the retirement scheme of his Arcadia retail empire to avert its collapse next week.

The Croydon-born entrepreneur has also denied his behaviour was criminal or amounted to gross misconduct in the wake of a slew of allegations, including of groping a female executive and making a racial slur at an employee.

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