Sir Philip Green

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Reuters

British retail tycoon Sir Philip Green has been charged in the US with four counts of misdemeanour assault.

The charges come after a fitness instructor in Arizona alleged that he repeatedly touched her inappropriately.

The incidents, which Sir Philip has previously denied, allegedly occurred at the Canyon Ranch resort in Tucson in 2016 and 2018.

Pima County Attorney’s Office said each count carries a potential sentence of up to 30 days in jail.

Sir Philip could also face a fine of up to $500 (£400) and up to a year of probation on each count, the attorney’s office said.

The complainant said in a police interview that Sir Philip had slapped her bottom.

Sir Philip’s Arcadia Group owns the High Street chains Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, and Wallis.

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.”

He added: “Nothing was found against Sir Philip and the matter was dropped.

“In terms of the allegation, it did not happen. Sir Philip has visited the ranch since that time and has no issues with the management or any of the people there.”

The charges against Sir Philip come as his business faces significant challenges, with nearly 50 stores due to close and MPs calling on him to use his own wealth to fund the company’s pension scheme.

He was also at the centre of controversy earlier this year when he took out an injunction barring the Daily Telegraph from reporting allegations of misconduct against him by employees, which included bullying along with sexual and racial abuse, allegations the businessman strongly denied. He later dropped the injunction.

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

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