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Actress was jilted lover: defence lawyer

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/12/2016 Ben Leahy

The defence lawyer for a well-known actor has questioned why one of his client's acting students began a consensual affair with him, despite accusing him of sexually violating and indecently assaulting her.

The man, whose name cannot be published, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of sexual violation and 10 charges of indecent assault.

The alleged offending took place between 2010 and 2013 against four female acting students he was teaching in one-on-one classes.

Prosecutors say the man who ran group classes for aspiring actors, separately offered each woman private lessons because they had great potential.

He then used teaching techniques that led to him indecently touching the women's breasts and sexually violating one woman, the Crown said.

However, defence lawyer Ron Mansfield said the man never indecently touched the women and only engaged in professional teaching techniques.

He accused the women of colluding to make their claims sound more believable.

One of the women also had a consensual affair with the man.

In cross examining the first woman to give evidence in front of a jury at Auckland District Court on Thursday, Mr Mansfield said her claims of being sexually violated were nonsense.

He said the only time the woman had sexual contact with the actor was when they had a consensual relationship away from class, including meeting in a motel for sex.

He said the woman instead fabricated a story to get back at the man after hearing claims he had kissed other women, a claim the woman denied.

He also accused the woman of deleting texts and emails between her and the actor because it showed they had a consensual relationship.

When questioned, the woman admitted she did not protest during an incident she described in which the actor took her to a small room and forcibly pulled off her pants.

Mr Mansfield said the woman was overplaying shows of anxiousness and vulnerability.

He said she was intelligent, had completed two university degrees, pursued and confidently pursued work in modelling and acting.

Mr Mansfield said as a grown up, the woman knew she was not training to be a pornographic actress and must know indecent assault was not part of acting training.

He said the woman instead took the private classes because she knew other people taking them had successfully obtained paid work and that she needed to hone her skills in expressing emotions.

The trial continues.

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