A piece in yesterday’s Times:
Downing St official groped my breast, says writer of Victoria TV series
A Downing Street official put his hand on a television producer’s breast, but the victim said yesterday that her humiliating riposte to his action had been punishment enough.
Daisy Goodwin, who wrote the ITV television series Victoria, said that during David Cameron’s administration she had been summoned to No 10 to talk to an official about an idea for a programme.
During the meeting, “in a room dominated by a portrait of Mrs T”, she said that the official, whom she has declined to identify but who was “a few years younger” than her, said her sunglasses made her “look like a Bond girl”. [J4MB emphasis – NO sunglasses could make Daisy Goodwin look like a Bond girl.]
As the meeting ended she said that he had then “put his hand on my breast. [J4MB emphasis – is Goodwin a liar, or a fantasist? You decide.] I looked at the hand and then in my best Lady Bracknell voice said, ‘Are you actually touching my breast?’,” Ms Goodwin writes in Radio Times.
She said that the official had “dropped his hand and laughed nervously” while she “swept out in what can only be called high dudgeon”.
Ms Goodwin said that she “wasn’t traumatised, I was cross, but by the next day it had become an anecdote, The Day I Was Groped in No 10 — an account of male delusion”.
Ms Goodwin told The Times yesterday that she had brought the incident into the public domain as a “plea that there are some occasions when a woman needs to summon her inner Lady Bracknell, or Hattie Jacques or Queen Victoria and give the offender a withering stare and call him out”.
She added: “I think humiliation is a very potent weapon. And I had that satisfaction. There are occasions when that is appropriate and sufficient and I think women are the best judges of when that is.
“What is awful is when women do go and complain and are ignored. That’s what we have to fight against.”
Ms Goodwin’s disclosure comes after a series of allegations in recent weeks about sexual bullying and misbehaviour from male public figures.
They have emerged since claims of sexual harassment involving Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer, were made public last month.
Ms Goodwin, 55, who is also a novelist, said yesterday that she wanted to draw a contrast between the Downing Street incident and an occasion when she was 15 and a guard on an East London line train “put his hand between my legs”. [J4MB emphasis]
After using her Liddell and Scott Greek dictionary as a weapon “to repel him without difficulty” she then told her parents, whose attitude was: “These things happen and you just have to learn to deal with them.”
She said that if the same thing were to happen to her teenage daughters she would “have no hesitation in reporting the man”. In Downing Street, in contrast, she said the official did not have “power to hire or fire me . . . he needed my co-operation as much as I needed his”. She said that her denunciation of the official could easily have been heard through the open office door by others, adding that in this instance humiliation was ample punishment. She added: “I am just saying this is another way of dealing with incidents. Sometimes you want to be a virago and not a victim.”
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