Clifford 'caring', says ex-lover

The Oxford Times: Max Clifford and his daughter Louise Clifford outside Southwark Crown Court Max Clifford and his daughter Louise Clifford outside Southwark Crown Court

A former lover of Max Clifford has told a court she was "not comfortable" about their relationship during his marriage after she fell in love with the celebrity agent.

The woman, who used to work at Clifford's New Bond Street office in central London, said the publicist was "kind" and "caring" and she never saw him act inappropriately with women.

Clifford, 70, is standing trial accused of 11 counts of indecent assault against seven girls and women - all of which he denies.

The witness, who cannot be named, told the jury at London's Southwark Crown Court that she was in her late teens when she started a relationship with Clifford a year after she began working at his office.

Asked by defence barrister Richard Horwell QC if she loved Clifford, the woman replied: "I did."

Asked if it was a sexual relationship, the woman replied: "Yes.

"My memory is we went to a hotel on occasions."

She added: "I can only speak from professional experience how he was with me - kind, caring, thoughtful and generous.

"He told me right at the beginning he was married and he would not leave his wife. He also asked if I was sure....that I wanted to enter this relationship."

The relationship ended when she stopped working at Clifford's office, the witness said.

"I think certainly for me I was very involved," she said.

"We both realised it was perhaps best I leave and work somewhere else.

"It took me quite a long time to get over my feelings for Max Clifford."

The witness was questioned about the size of Clifford's penis.

The court has heard claims that Clifford has a "micro-penis" measuring two and half inches, while one woman told the court the publicist's penis was "enormous".

A doctor had measured Clifford's penis at five and a quarter inches long when flaccid, the jury has been told.

The woman said: "I can only say it was normal. It was such a long time ago."

The witness said a number of celebrities would visit Clifford's office including comedian Lennie Bennett, the Boomtown Rats and Paula Yates.

She said she went to Clifford's home on occasions and once babysat his daughter shortly after she started working with the publicist.

She also met his wife after she came to the office, the witness said.

Asked by Rosina Cottage QC, prosecuting, if she was embarrassed meeting Clifford's wife, the woman replied: "Clearly I'm not comfortable about the fact I had a relationship with Max."

The woman said her relationship with Clifford was "very important" to her and the pair went on a trip to Paris.

She told the court she never attended any "sex parties" with Clifford and she did not have sex with him in his office.

The witness said she kept in contact with Clifford after she stopped working at his office.

"I think the fondness just remained," she said.

Wearing a grey blazer and pink shirt, Clifford, from Hersham in Surrey, listened to the proceedings from with the dock with the aid of a hearing loop.

Alan Field, the former manager of comedian Lennie Bennett, said Clifford came up with the idea to have two topless women at a meeting with Morecambe and Wise producer Ernest Maxin.

Mr Field said the prank took place in his office in Clifford's New Bond Street headquarters in about 1980.

He said: "I don't know if you can call it a dare or not. The arrangement was made where we would have a bit of fun with Ernest.

"When he arrived in my office he very nonchalantly and casually walked over to the girls in a very English manner and kissed their hands and told them what a pleasure it was to meet them, ignoring what was going on."

Mr Field told the court that another prank involved Clifford saying a number of phrases, including Fatty Arbuckle, in a Newsnight interview about model Naomi Campbell but denied it was a dare.

The witness, who said he had known Clifford since the 1960s, described the publicist as "a good chap".

"I would say you would not want for a better friend," he said. "He was a very kind and generous man.

"Generally a good sort. We got on very well. I found him a good chap."

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

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