The disgraced TV star died of neck cancer and old age earlier this month after spending the last six years following his release from prison living as a near-recluse with his wife in their £5million riverside mansion in Bray, Berkshire.
News of the abuser’s death on May 10 and his subsequent secret cremation was revealed on Tuesday after it was registered with Windsor and Maidenhead Council bringing closure to some of his victims.
Dr Lin Berwick, who accused him of assaulting her when she was 27, screamed ‘Yippee, thank God’, while BBC radio host Karen Gardner – who claims she was assaulted by him when she was 16 – pointed to a statement where she described him as ‘evil’.
Broadcaster Vanessa Feltz recalled how she was assaulted by the entertainer live on national television and metres away from his wife when he appeared on The Big Breakfast with her.
Victims of Rolf Harris have spoken out after the entertainer, who was exposed as a sex offender in later life, died at the age of 93
TV personality Vanessa Feltz said Harris reached up to try and touch her knickers live on television
In June 2014 Harris was convicted of 12 indecent assaults, after a trial exposed an avalanche of evidence showing his disturbing behaviour towards women and girls.
The entertainer was convicted of abusing a close friend of his daughter, Bindi Nicholls, over the course of 16 years as well as an eight-year-old girl seeking an autograph and two girls in their early teens.
Harris had strongly denied the charges against him, which took place between 19868 and 1986 but was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison after being convicted.
Upon his release in 2017 he lived as a near-recluse, with reports he was suffering from neck cancer and this had left him unable to speak, and was seen in a wheelchair when out of the house. An undertaker’s private ambulance was photographed outside his riverside home on May 11.
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon by his solicitor, his family said: ‘Rolf Harris recently died peacefully surrounded by family and friends and has now been laid to rest. They ask that you respect their privacy. No further comment will be made’.
The cause of death was revealed as ‘metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of neck’ – the medical term for neck cancer – and ‘frailty of old age’.
The news was welcomed gleefully by some of his victims who still to this day have to cope with the abuse he inflicted on them.
Dr Berwick, who is blind and disabled, claimed Harris assaulted her when she was 27 – and despite the sex offender being acquitted of that offence, she remains convinced he was the perpetrator.
She told the Sun: ‘When I found out the news he was dead, I screamed ‘Yippee, thank God’.
‘No one has ever invaded my body the way Rolf Harris has. What he did to me as a blind person was vile.’
BBC radio host Karen Gardner, pictured, claims Harris assaulted her three times in the space of 35 minutes when she was 16
Ms Gardner, pictured here when she was younger, says the assaults took place while she worked as his bag carrier for the show Star Games in 1977
Dr Lin Berwick, pictured, claims she was assaulted by the painter when she was 27 years old
Vanessa Feltz says Rolf Harris put his hand up her dress while she was hosting The Big Breakfast (pictured)
Karen Gardner, a BBC radio host who accused him of assaulting her three times in the space of 35 minutes when she was his 16-year-old bag carrier for the show Star Games in 1977 was more
When asked by the Mirror if she had any comment, she pointed to a statement made after she appeared in the ITV documentary Rolf Harris: Hiding in Plain Sight, about his crimes earlier this month.
In it she tweeted: ‘Very few of us escape the impact of evil people. What we have to do is expose them, share and stand together to dilute the pain.
‘For me it was Rolf Harris but he inflicted much worse on other girls.’
In the programme, which aired last week, Ms Gardner bravely waved her anonymity as she relived the traumatic experience.
She told the programme: ‘In the space of I guess about 35 minutes, he assaulted me three times in plain sight. And it was horrible because you’re surrounded by people, and he had a method of operating.
‘I won’t talk about the actual details, but he was paying me attention, he was saying how great I had been, and he, he hugged me, and that that’s when, when it happened. And it was humiliating and degrading and awful and your, your blood turns to concrete.’
She continued: ‘You can’t believe this is happening. And I have no doubt what was happening. My period was due, and my breasts were very tender, and I had no doubt what he’d done was deliberate. And he did it, he did that twice in the space of, I don’t know, 20 odd, 25 minutes.
‘And then it was mid-afternoon and they had organised a couple of taxis and one of the cars came to get him. And I had to get in the back seat of the car.’
Ms Gardner said Rolf got beside her and assaulted her again, adding: ‘Maybe because there wasn’t anyone there, I did tell him to f**k off. And he said something, which makes, still makes me feel sick now. He said to me, ‘You’re irresistible.’ I was 16. He was 48. He was 10 years older than my dad.’
Harris was acquitted of assaulting Ms Gardner after the jury could not reach a verdict at two trials.
Speaking on TalkTV Drivetime on Tuesday, Vanessa Feltz described the stomach-churning moment Harris pulled up her dress while and tried to touch her knickers just metres away from his wife while Ms Feltz was presenting the The Big Breakfast.
Speaking about the incident she claims to have suffered at his hands, Ms Feltz revealed she had originally been excited to learn he was appearing on the show where she hosted to ‘On The Bed’ segment.
She said: ‘So we crowded into the little tiny bedroom where The Big Breakfast bed was because it was situated in a real lock keeper’s cottage.
‘So a tiny little bedroom, there’s the bed, there’s me on it and Rolf Harris next to me and the cameraman, director, and Rolf Harris’ wife standing literally a foot away to the side of the bed.
‘We go live, and I’m like, ‘Hello, guess who’s on the bed with me today? It’s the wonderful Rolf Harris’…. and I can hear this noise.’
She revealed that Harris was ‘crunching’ her dress and pulling it ‘further and further and further up my legs’.
‘And you can actually see in one of the pictures me, taking a blue cushion and putting it between us to try to make some space between me and him. And he completely ignored it,’ she added.
After getting neck cancer, Rolf Harris (pictured during the pandemic) could no longer talk or eat and required around the clock care
In light of his conviction, Harris had his 2012 Bafta fellowship removed and was stripped of his CBE. He also had Australian honours taken away
The broadcaster said she could feel his hand going ‘past my knees up to my thighs’ while Harris’s wife was stood in the same room as them.
She said: ‘I didn’t know what to do because I knew that I couldn’t say, ‘Get your hand off my leg’ or ‘What the hell do you think you’re doing?’ or ‘Get off me’ and I also couldn’t jump off the bed because I was all mic-ed up and it’s a live program. I didn’t know what to do at all.
‘I tried, as you can see, to put the cushion between, that was no good. I couldn’t move any further away because you can see I would’ve fallen off the edge of the bed… his hand meanwhile was getting closer and closer and closer and closer and closer.
‘And then it got to the edge of my pants, my knickers, or whatever. My lingerie, and I knew, that if I didn’t do something immediately, it was going to be a proper full-on assault.’
The 61-year-old, who says she reviewed the incident when she was interviewed by police while officers were investigating Harris, said she was so concerned about what was happening that she told the crew to cut to a commercial break early.
‘I just went [gasps] like that because the hand was coming right up and I went like this, ‘Um, right. Okay. Well, we’ll throw to a break now. We’ll go straight to a break. That’s what we’re going to do. we’ll, we’ll go to a break! We’ll go to the break right now!’ and then I jumped off the bed and then it was the adverts.
‘I didn’t say a single word, he didn’t say a single word, his wife didn’t say a single word and then when we came back after I just got back on the bed and we carried on again.’
Rolf Harris’ death certificate revealed his cause of death. He died at home on May 10 – 13 days ago
Disgraced paedophile Rolf Harris has died at the age of 93, MailOnline can reveal. He was last pictured in April 2022 (right)
Harris died at this riverside mansion (pictured)
A private ambulance with its rear doors open at the home of Rolf Harris and his wife Alwen around ten days ago
Rolf Harris (second left) and his wife Alwen Hughes (second right) were recluses and rarely left their home in Bray, Berkshire
Harris is survived by his grandson Marlon, 25, daughter Bindi, 59, and wife Alwen, 91, a jeweller and sculptor. She is in a wheelchair because of Alzheimer’s disease but the couple, who married in 1958, lived together with the help of around the clock care.
Private investigator, author and former police officer William Merritt, author of the book Rolf Harris: The Truth behind the Trials, told MailOnline that he last met with him in late 2022, and he was gravely ill. He said: ‘Rolf has been very sick. When I saw him he was able to speak to me. He was with it, but he was obviously unwell’.
A private ambulance was parked outside the property on Thursday May 11, leaving at around 6pm. It has now emerged that he died the day before.
Mr Merritt said Rolf had neck cancer and there were serious concerns about his health, although he was ‘getting on with things’.
He told MailOnline: ‘I heard the news over the weekend and it’s all very sad. Rolf was convicted of sexual offences, that much people obviously know, but he still had millions of fans all around the world.
‘He doesn’t have a large family, but I know that his immediate relatives will be extremely upset and will want to grieve in private.’
Due to the cancer, Rolf is said to have ‘gurgled’ when talking. His wife Alwen has also been seriously ill with Alzheimer’s disease. ‘She’s very frail’, he said.
Harris’s daughter Bindi had no comment to make when contacted at her home in a Somerset village. Her husband Craig also refused to comment.
A family friend told MailOnline: ‘In recent years Bindi has nothing to say about her father. She gets very stressed when asked about him and prefers not to talk about him’.
A new ITVX documentary recently unearthed disturbing footage of Rolf Harris joking with Jimmy Savile about leaving a little girl ‘safely in his arms’
Years before his conviction in 2014, Harris was given the honour of painting a portrait of the late Queen to mark her 80th birthday
It understood Rolf Harris’ health took a turn for the worse after the sudden death of his beloved poodle earlier in 2022.
Harris married his sculptor wife Alwen in March 1958 after meeting at art school. The couple have one daughter Bindi.
Best known for hits Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport and Jake The Peg, as well as a string of children’s TV hits, Harris also famously painted the 80th birthday portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
He was the face of British Paints for more than three decades before he was dumped by the brand when he was arrested in 2013.
The following year, Harris was found guilty on 12 counts of indecent assault, and was sentenced to five years and nine months in jail .
The assaults include one on an eight-year-old autograph hunter, two on girls in their early teens, and a catalogue of abuse against his daughter’s friend of over 16 years.
He was released on parole in May 2017 after serving three years behind bars.
Of the 12 convictions, one was overturned on appeal in November 2017, and a jury chose not to convict him in two additional cases in the same year.
Mr Merritt said last year that Rolf preferred to be on his own and doesn’t ‘particularly like kids’ as he ‘hates the noise’.
His wife Alwen, 91, a jeweller and sculptor, is in a wheelchair because of Alzheimer’s disease but the couple, who married in 1958 and have one child, lived together with the help of around the clock care
Rolf Harris (pictured arriving at Southwark Crown Court with daughter Bindi and niece Jenny in 2014) was found guilty on 12 counts of indecent assault
Rolf Harris (pictured performing in the early 1970s) was a much-loved entertainer in Australia and the UK until his arrest in 2013
‘(He’s) battling a cancer of the neck, and gurgles when he talks. It’s difficult to understand him,’ Mr Merritt said previously.
‘As soon as one of two people walk into the room, he turns into a big kid again. He’s an artistic type, and he’ll try to perform on cue, even when he’s unwell.’
Harris’ health has deteriorated in recent years and that he was hospitalised during his stint in prison when his diabetes spiralled out of control.
‘He’s in poor health and has declined rapidly. He doesn’t come out any more and when he does it’s only ever with his carer,’ one neighbour said in 2019.
Harris hadn’t spoken publicly since his release from jail in 2017 but released a statement in Mr Merritt’s recently released book Rolf Harris: The Defence Team’s Special Investigator Reveals the Truth Behind the Trials.
‘I understand we live in the post truth era and know few will want to know what really happened during the three criminal trials I faced – it’s easier to condemn me and liken me to people like Savile and Glitter,’ Harris said.
Rolf Harris’ is pictured with a dog at the RSPCA Animal Hospital in Putney, UK
‘I was convicted of offences I did not commit in my first trial. That is not just my view but the view of the Court of Appeal who overturned one of my convictions. I had already served the prison sentence by the time of the appeal.
‘I changed my legal team after the first trial, and I was told that if the truth was out there, William (Merritt) would find it and he did.
‘The evidence he found proved my innocence to two subsequent juries.
‘I’d be in prison serving a sentence for crimes I did not commit if it were not for William’s investigation.
‘It is difficult to put into words the injustice that I feel.’