A Wollongong woman sexually abused by Rolf Harris who testified against him cried with relief when expressing her happiness at his guilty verdict.
A British court found Harris, 84, guilty on Monday of 12 counts of indecent assault against four girls committed between 1968 and 1986.
In an interview with A Current Affair on Tuesday night, victim Tonya Lee, 43, cried with relief.
‘‘I feel proud, I feel incredibly gobsmacked. I can’t believe, I’m so happy that he was found guilty.
‘‘I can’t believe it and it just shows that the justice system does work.’’
Early on, Ms Lee waived her right to anonymity so she could talk publicly about her experience. She agreed to a deal with Woman’s Day and A Current Affair for interviews, to take place after she spoke to police.
She wanted to open the door for other women to come forward, she told A Current Affair.
Ms Lee flew to London to testify against Harris.
She told the court that just after she turned 15, she was chosen to join her theatre group’s six-week tour of Britain in 1986. It was a dream come true, she said: her first trip overseas.
When they arrived in London from Sydney, a surprise had been arranged – Harris was at the airport to meet the group.
That evening, Harris met the group again in a pub for dinner. The group were in high spirits and sang songs. Ms Lee sang a solo.
Then Mr Harris said: ‘‘You have a lovely singing voice, come and tell me a bit about yourself ... come and sit down on my lap.’’ She did so.
He asked about her musical ambitions and plans for the tour.
But then she noticed ‘‘he was moving back and forth, rubbing [his crotch] against me’’, she said. He then started to pat her on the thigh, then moved his hand between her legs, ‘‘higher and higher’’.
She was feeling very uncomfortable and ‘‘started to panic’’ wondering how she could get out of the situation but Harris was still joking and laughing with her and other dinner guests, his actions hidden by the table, Ms Lee said.
When his hand touched her crotch she made an excuse and went to the bathroom. She sat there with a ‘‘whole lot of confusion’’ in her head.
But when she came out of the toilet, Harris was waiting in the hallway outside. He gave her an ‘‘all-encompassing’’ hug and wedged her between the wall and a big pot plant.
She felt intimidated, claustrophobic and trapped, she said.
Harris put his hand down her top and fondled her breast.
‘‘I was petrified ... I probably should have screamed but I think I was in shock,’’ she said.
‘‘He took away from me that feeling that you can ever be normal again,’’ she said.