Retail boss Philip Green named in parliament as businessman in UK #MeToo scandal

  • Retail boss Philip Green has been named as the businessman at the center of a #MeToo type scandal.
  • The Telegraph newspaper had been prevented from releasing the name following a temporary injunction.
  • Labour peer Peter Hain has used his parliamentary privilege to reveal the name and circumvent the judicial restriction.
Billionaire Philip Green, owner of Arcadia Group
Lam Yik Fei | Bloomberg via Getty Images
Billionaire Philip Green, owner of Arcadia Group

The retail mogul Philip Green has been named in the British parliament as the businessman at the center of a U.K. style #MeToo scandal.

The Telegraph newspaper had reported Wednesday that it had been subject to a court injunction, preventing it from revealing the name of the businessman or the allegations against him.

But on Thursday, Lord Peter Hain said given the court's decision he felt compelled to name Green. He made the announcement at the House of Lords, the U.K.'s upper chamber.

"I feel it's my duty under parliamentary 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 this story which is clearly in the public interest," said the Labour peer, according to The Telegraph and other media outlets.

Green is a British businessman, and the chairman of Arcadia Group, a retail company that includes Topshop, Topman, Wallis, Evans, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, and Outfit. He has previously been accused of profiting from the demise of the BHS department store, which was left with a £571 million ($732 mn) pension deficit after Green sold it.

In its revelations on Wednesday, the newspaper claimed the scandal "would be sure to reignite the #MeToo movement." #MeToo is the social media campaign that started after dozens of women accused Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.

The Telegraph also reported that the Court of Appeal's interim injunction order said the businessman had used non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to cover up "discreditable conduct." In five cases, "substantial payments" were made to five people as part of settlements.

In July, the High Court ruled that the publication of the allegations would be in the public interest, outweighing the confidentiality agreements, but the case was immediately appealed. On Tuesday, the businessman was granted a temporary injunction at the Court of Appeal, which prevented publication. The court ordered that the case go to trial.

The Telegraph said it had interviewed more than two dozen of the businessman's staff and associates, who alleged bullying as well as more serious accusations of sexual harassment and racism, and that some people had signed NDAs'. It said if those people broke their agreements, they could face legal action as well as losing settlement money.