S. S. was only 16 years old in the late 70’s she was subjected to sexual assault while on a cruise ship vacation. S. S. was traveling with her parents and some friends onboard the P&O liner SS Canberra when she and a girl friend wandered off on their own. The girls were then approached by then prominent British DJ Jimmy Savile, who lured them back into his stateroom with promises of autographs.
The star struck teens happily obliged, not knowing what would await them. Savile brought the girls into his first class quarters and unexpectedly took off his pants. He then begged S. S. for a “quick cuddle” as her friend proceeded to take pictures of the incident, which Savile didn’t seem to mind. Savile, then 51, pulled S. S. onto his bed and smiled for the camera. What happened next, S. S. will never forget.
“He was very forceful and wrapped himself right around me. It was quite frightening,” recounted S. S. “At one point he slipped out of his pants and started rubbing himself up against me…He grasped me very tightly in his arms and told me to do the same to him.”
Savile told her that it was “a special move that will help you stop the boys getting away.”
Just a few days later, S. S. discovered that Savile was thrown off the ship for taking on a new victim – a 14-year-old girl. Luckily, the girl’s parents complained to cruise ship authorities about the behavior, and the captain had him confined to his cabin until the ship docked in Gibraltar. But that wasn’t enough to stop Savile’s sexually criminal behavior, or S. S. from feeling violated. Even with Savile off the cruise ship, the maritime sexual harassment incident still shocked S. S.
“I thought he was a harmless old man, a wholesome father figure. That’s how he came across on TV,” she added. “But if my friend had not been there, I’m sure he would have forced me to have sex with him.”
But that wouldn’t be the first – nor last – time the late “Jim’ll Fix It” star would try to prey on victims sexually again. Savile soon came to be branded as a sex predator and authorities believe he attacked over 60 young victims over several decades.
This month, almost a year after his death, Scotland Yard has launched a criminal investigation into the allegations of child sexual abuse by Savile over the past 40 years. There are over 400 sexual harassment claims and over 200 testimonies from potential victims.
Unfortunately, sexual harassment victims don’t always get the justice they deserve, especially if the crime occurred onboard a cruise vessel. Cruise ship rape and assault is the number one crime aboard cruise vessels, yet accounts go undocumented and when authorities do step in, oftentimes too much time passes and the victims get away.
If you or a loved one have been victimized by a sexual predator onboard a cruise ship vacation, turn to our maritime lawyers immediately for assistance. The cruise ship rape lawyers at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. have been successfully representing victims on the high seas since 1971 and will help you obtain compensation for your pain and suffering. Call us today for a free consultation so we can get started on your case.