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Topshop boss investigated over ‘spank’ claims in US

‘I felt taken
advantage of’:
Pilates instructor
Katie Surridge PICTURES: FACEBOOK/SPLASH

SIR PHILIP GREEN is being investigated by detectives in the US after a fitness instructor alleged the retail tycoon sexually assaulted her at a luxury resort.

The billionaire’s former Pilates teacher, Katie Surridge, 37, came forward on Monday and claimed he ‘spanked’ her, inappropriately touched her and made sexual comments while he was staying at Canyon Ranch, Arizona, according to The Daily Telegraph.

A spokesman for Sir Philip, 66, has denied the allegation and said it was dismissed by the resort in Tucson after an investigation.

However, Pima county sheriff’s department’s deputy Daniel Jelineo confirmed an inquiry into Sir Philip (above) had been launched after they received a complaint from Ms Surridge.

The deputy said: ‘He’s being investigated for a criminal offence at this time.’

The mother-of-two, who waived her right to anonymity, told the newspaper he repeatedly ‘spanked’ her in January 2016 after he entered her studio following a class.

‘I felt very taken advantage of and just a piece of meat there at his disposal,’ she said. ‘It feels completely sexual in nature. And the way — the noises, and the “oh, you naughty girl”. Like — ugh — I can hear him saying it right now.’

A spokesman for Sir Philip said: ‘All this was investigated by Canyon Ranch at the time. 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.’

Reporters have previously tracked down the Arcadia owner at Canyon Ranch to quiz him over allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse.

The Daily Telegraph has reported five of his employees signed non-disclosure agreements, with one paid more than £1million for her silence.

Sir Philip has always denied his behaviour was criminal or amounted to gross misconduct.