Content warning: This post deals with sexual assault and could be triggering for some readers.
As a child, Suzi Dent adored Rolf Harris. She'd grown up watching the children's entertainer on black-and-white TV, as he sang funny songs and charmed millions of Australian kids and their parents.
So when she had the opportunity to work with him in 1986 on a TV show in her capacity as a make-up artist - Dent was then 24 and Harris was 56 - she jumped at the chance.
"He was the biggest star to have walked through the Channel Seven doors at that time. He was huge in 1986," Dent told Mamamia.
Her excitement quickly turned to horror when Harris began to grope her - and she was powerless to do anything about it.
"The number one rule in film and television is you don't upset the talent. He could have walked, he could have chucked a dummy spit and walked off. It could have caused Channel Seven millions, it would have been the end of my career, it could have been the end of everybody on set with me," she explained.
"I had a rip in my shorts and he'd try to shove his hand in. I'd have a tissue box in one hand and grab [his hand] with the other and say, 'Please don't do that because you'll make the rip bigger'. I ended up spending a lot of time out of the studio. There were two young guys on the crew and they knew I wasn't happy, and they'd come out and get me when I needed to go in and blot the sweat off him.
"And every time I went in, bar one time when he had the script in his hand, he touched me. He touched my legs, he grabbed my belt and tried to crotch grind me and pull me towards him. It was seriously full on."
There were a number of people in the studio that day, but no-one raised a finger to help.
"None of the men in the studio did anything. The director was the same sort of age as Rolf. And he was kind of egging him on," she said.
"They were literally talking about me whilst I was standing there next to them. Like I was a piece of meat. Talking about my legs, what I looked like, what my body was like.
"And I'm standing there listening to them thinking, 'You guys, it just sounds like the whole casting couch thing is alive and well in your mind. But hello! Fat chance! You're old enough to be my grandfather'."
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