Earlier today, Sir Philip Green of Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridges, and more has been named as the businessman at the heart of the UK’s #MeToo scandal. The rumor mill had been in overdrive since Tuesday, when it was revealed that “a leading businessman” had been granted an injunction preventing the publication of reports accusing him of sexual harassment, racist abuse, and bullying against staff.
But now, the secret’s out thanks to Labor peer Peter Hain, who used parliamentary privilege to name the retail billionaire after he was personally contacted by someone involved in the scandal.
“My Lords, having been contacted by someone intimately involved in the case of a powerful businessman using non-disclosure agreements and substantial payments to conceal the truth about serious and repeated sexual harassment, racist abuse and bullying, which is compulsively continuing, I feel it’s my duty under privilege to name Philip Green as the individual in question, given that the media have been subject to an injunction preventing publication of the full details of a story, which is clearly in the public interest,” Lord Hain told Parliament on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the Daily Telegraph reported that it had been prevented by a legal injunction from publishing an investigation into the allegations. The inquiry took eight months and included interviews with five staff members who claimed they had received “substantial sums” of money in return for legal commitments to not discuss what happened. At the time of publishing, the legal injunction has not been lifted, however Hain’s statement is now being reported by media worldwide.
This is not the first time Green has been accused or reprimanded for wrongdoing. Just this month, the hashtag #PinkNotGreen gained traction after a feminist pop-up in Topshop’s flagship Oxford Circus store, in collaboration with publisher Penguin, was taken down just 20 minutes after it was erected. Many believed Green was personally involved, but the company said the decision was taken from “a production and creative standpoint”.
He was also dubbed the “unacceptable face of capitalism” after BHS, which he owned before selling it for £1 (or $1.28) in 2015, went into administration with a $732m gap in its pension fund. He was also named as then-prime minister David Cameron’s efficiency tsar despite accusations of tax evasion.
The naming of Green as the mystery businessman came as no surprise to a huge swathe of social media users. Some, including Scarlett Curtis, who was behind the recent feminist pop-up, claimed to have been at the receiving end of his behavior.
This man clothed our country.
This man dressed our teenage girls.
This man is a racist, sexist bully.
This man made me cry.
This man must be stopped. Philip Green, money can’t save you.
The feminists are coming & they’re wearing pink #pinknotgreen https://t.co/x9SYI6YhU9
— Scarlett Curtis (@scarcurtis) October 25, 2018
Ahhh happy memories of Philip Green. Thinking back on the time he threw me out of a Topshop event because, quoth he, “she’s an anti-Semite, she works for the fucking Guardian!”
— Hadley Freeman (@HadleyFreeman) October 25, 2018
Many are now calling for Green to be stripped of his knighthood, which he received in 2006 and has managed to hold on to even after it was reviewed in 2016 by the Cabinet Office following the BHS collapse.
As the unacceptable face of capitalism and a confirmed suppresser of allegations as serious as those that he faces, it would be a travesty if the Honours Forfeiture Committee fails to revoke Phillip Green’s knighthood. https://t.co/sGiu9EgFbQ
— Edward Shambrook (@EdwardShambrook) October 25, 2018
Petition for Phillip Green to be stripped of his knighthood… #MeToo
— Bryony Wilshaw (@BryonyWilshaw) October 25, 2018
How much more does this chode Phillip Green have to do before he gets his knighthood taken away? https://t.co/VgWMsYax4t
— F O S T E R (@alicefoster) October 25, 2018
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