Sir Philip Green — chairman of Arcadia group, the parent of high-street retailers including Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins — has been charged with four counts of misdemeanor assault in the U.S.
The 67-year-old was accused by an Arizona fitness instructor of alleged inappropriate behavior and unwanted groping on multiple occasions between 2016 and 2018. The Pima County Attorney’s Office issued a statement late Friday formally charging the mogul, who continues to deny all accusations.
The billionaire has been dubbed the King of Retail Fashion but has been mired in scandal in recent years. The Telegraph alleged in October that Green had paid “substantial amounts to his victims” in five cases, having them sign confidentiality agreements.
The Brit faced additional controversy in 2016, when there were five investigations into the collapse of his former retailer BHS and its pension fund deficit. He ended that batch of drama in February 2017 by filling the pension fund hole at BHS with a voluntary contribution of up to 363 million pounds.
Amid Green’s personal woes, Beyoncé made the decision to cut ties with Arcadia, buying out her athleisure brand Ivy Park in November 2018 (she launched the brand in 2016 with Green having a 50% stake).
Meanwhile, Arcadia has faced business woes in recent years, with multiple media outlets reporting last week that the retail giant had begun the insolvency process in its home base of the United Kingdom, as well as seeking Chapter 15 court protection in the United States. All of Topshop’s U.S. store locations will be liquidated as part of the restructuring.
For each of the four counts, Green faces a potential sentence of up to 30 days, a fine of at most $500 and a probation of up to a year. The complaint and summons have been sent to his attorneys.