Sheikh denies sexual assault claim after UK literary festival vows not to return to Abu Dhabi
An Abu Dhabi minister has denied claims that he sexually assaulted a staff member at a British literary festival in the city, after organisers vowed not to return in light of the alleged incident.
Caitlin McNamara, who was launching the Hay Festival in the UAE's capital, says she was attacked by minister for tolerance Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan on Valentine's Day this year.
London lawyers Schillings said the sheikh denies the allegations, which the festival had branded an "appalling violation and a hideous abuse of trust and position".
In a statement to Sky News, Schillings commented: "Our client is surprised and saddened by this allegation, which arrives eight months after the alleged incident and via a national newspaper. The account is denied."
The 69-year-old Oxford-educated sheikh invited Ms McNamara to dinner on a private island, The Sunday Times reported earlier.
Once there, she said she was given a diamond-encrusted Tag Heuer watch worth about £3,500.
Ms McNamara added: "It was creepy. He was on the sofa next to me and began touching my arm and feet and I was pulling away. Then he got forceful. Suddenly, it clicked why I was there. I felt so naive."
Ms McNamara, 32, who spent six months working in the UAE's ministry of tolerance, said the sheikh "grabbed my face and started kissing me".
She also claims he groped her breasts in a gold lift, pushed her on to a bed, and exposed himself.
"I was scared," she told the newspaper.
Ms McNamara ...
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