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A playwright employed at the Royal Court Theatre has been cleared of groping a young actress during one-on-one rehearsals.
Simon David, 57, was alone with the woman in a room at the Sloane Square theatre working on a dramatic interpretation of his poems ‘E is for Ecstasy’ and ‘Kiss Not Over.’
David, of Notting Hill, who has worked in the theatre’s bookshop for sixteen years, always denied the charge of sexual assault on December 8, last year.
It took an Isleworth Crown Court jury just fifteen minutes to unanimously acquit him today after a three-day trial.
Afterwards David, declined to speak about his ordeal, commenting: “I’ve already spoken enough about this case.”
The actress had accused him of “grabbing my buttocks” and touching her breasts when they were alone.
However, David told the court the contact was consensual: “The intention was artistic, creative and dance-driven.
“As a performer I’m a little over-the-top in my movements. We both went one hundred per cent into it, we were both passionate and very strong.
“It’s not just reading the poem. They have to do the movements and physicality.”
He explained his ‘E is for Ecstasy’ poem includes embracing, but the actress alleged David deliberately pinned her hands behind her back.
“That’s what upset me,” he told the jury. “She says I was holding and grabbing her, but that is not the case.
“The hands behind the back was romantic in line with the poem along with a hand resting on the bottom, touching the throat and hand coming off her breast.”
He said the interpretation of ‘Kiss Not Over’ required physical contact. “It is passion-driven and she completely consented.
“She was going along with it in the context of the rehearsal and we were both in the moment.”
David denied he became “carried away” due to his passion for his work. “I have a very strong moral grounding,” he said.
“She was responding with full enthusiasm and dancing and embracing me in the same way I was embracing her.”
David said the door of the rehearsal room was open at all times with people constantly passing by.
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