An investment banker who claimed she was groped by multi-millionaire hedge fund manager Crispin Odey described the alleged assault as an ‘octupussy type manoeuvre’ in court today.
Giving evidence via video link from America, the woman broke down in tears under cross examination as she recalled the alleged indecent assault in 1998.
The court has been told that Odey, then 39, allegedly put his hand down her shirt to touch her breast after inviting the then-26-year-old to his house following a work meeting.
He has admitted in a police interview to propositioning the young banker but denied carrying out an assault and has said she is exaggerating what took place.
Odey was accompanied to court by his hedge fund manager wife Nichola Pease, who he married in 1991. The couple walked arm-in-arm as they headed inside as the trial entered its second day.
An investment banker who claimed she was groped by multi-millionaire hedge fund manager Crispin Odey (pictured arriving in court with his hedge fund manager wife Nichola Pease) described the alleged assault as an ‘octupussy type manoeuvre’
The court heard that, when Odey (pictured in 1995) was interviewed in 2019, he accepted she was at his house, where they were talking about work, and said she asked him: ‘Where is this going to end?’
Describing the incident in now 62-year-old Odey’s Chelsea home, she said: ‘He was next to me. So it was like an octopussy manouvre.
‘First time there was a hand on by back, then a scramble of hands. Like groping, the only way to describe it. It was like an octupus experience.’
The woman, now aged 49, said she couldn’t recall the exact sequence of events when Odey approached her after he had changed into a towelling robe.
‘I don’t remember the choreography. I just stood up and got away from him. I don’t know if he said anything,’ she said.
The alleged victim was questioned by Mr Odey’s barrister Crispin Aylett to further describe what had taken place – but she said she was unable to recall everything that had happened on the night.
The married 62-year-old (pictured) has denied indecently assaulting the then 26-year-old woman in his Chelsea home in 1998, when he was 39
Odey (pictured arriving in court with his wife) has admitted in a police interview to propositioning the young banker but denied carrying out an assault and has said she is exaggerating what took place
Odey (left, in 2003) was accompanied to court by his hedge fund manager wife Nichola Pease, who he married in 1991
Mr Aylett suggested that she was still angry at what had allegedly taken place.
‘Yes, I am angry and you can understand why,’ she replied as he broke down in tears before composing herself.
The woman said she decided to file a complaint after watching news reports of the allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein for sex assaults.
In an online report to police she also mentioned the arrest of actor Kevin Spacey as a spur for making her complaint in 2017.
‘There were a whole lot of them. They were on the news,’ she told Mr Aylett.
Earlier a friend of the alleged victim told the court he had suggested she contact police after believing the hedge fund manager had ‘tried it on with her’.
Odey (pictured outside court today) is also accused of putting his hand down her shirt to touch her breast after inviting her to his home following a work meeting
The friend – a former boyfriend who was not named to protect the woman’s identity – was called by the victim after she left Odey’s home.
He said: ‘I recall a telephone call from (the complainant) who was in an upset state.’
He said she was ‘very upset’ when she arrived at his flat, adding: ‘She was crying and when I asked details of what had got her so upset, she clammed up and then was very emotional.
‘I kept asking her what had actually happened.
‘I suggested if anything untoward had happened she should go and report it to police.
‘I think the reaction that she gave me where she didn’t want to talk about what happened made me think something not very nice had happened.’
The married 62-year-old has denied indecently assaulting the then 26-year-old woman in his Chelsea home in 1998, when he was 39. Pictured: The Chelsea property where the alleged assault took place more than 20 years ago
Taking him through his police witness statement, prosecutor Kerry Broome said the man had ‘presumed at the time Crispin Odey had tried it on with her’.
She asked: ‘Is that what you deduced?’
‘Yes, that’s correct,’ he replied.
The woman told the court she informed three senior colleagues at the bank where she worked the day after the alleged assault.
In his statement to police, one of the men said: ‘She was upset and felt that Odey had taken advantage of her.
‘I didn’t know how serious it was and what exactly had happened.’
The multimillionaire, 62, (arriving at Hendon Magistrates’ Court) denies indecent assault in 1998, claiming the woman, who was in her 20s at the time, left after the ‘ill-judged and unwanted sexual invitation’
The woman met with ‘high-profile’ Odey (pictured in 1997) at Odey Asset Management, the company he founded in 1991, where he ‘showed an interest in her’ and invited her to return later, which ‘she hoped would further her career’, the prosecutor said
Giving evidence, he said the meeting took place in a room off the trading floor.
‘Clearly, something had happened in that meeting that made her feel uncomfortable,’ he said.
‘The impression was something inappropriate had happened, but she didn’t tell us anything more than that in terms of what had happened, so there was a sort of spectrum of possibilities.
‘There was no suggestion that anything was necessarily so serious that action need be taken forthwith.
‘I think if that was the case the three of us, even though we weren’t management, would’ve taken action unilaterally ourselves.’
Another colleague said to have been at the meeting said he has ‘no recollection’ but added that Odey, with whom he still has a professional relationship, is ‘nothing but a complete gentleman’.
‘He’s a character, he’s charming, he’s fun, and the word ‘dishonest’ would be about as far as you can manage from him,’ he said.
‘He’s a very open person. Controversial but certainly honest and honourable.’
The trial continues.