Langham 'took my virginity'

Girl gives her evidence

The girl at the centre of the Chris Langham trial has told how the actor took her virginity at the age of 14 in a London hotel.

She told Maidstone Crown Court that undressed both her and himself before having full intercourse with her. She said it became a regular event and that ‘there was always sexual activity in any hotel they went to’.

Speaking to the court from behind screens, the girl, now 25, added: ‘He was always gentle with me, always. He was saying nice things to me. He said I was a nice person and how nice I looked. When I was doing oral sex he would always say how good it felt."

The jury heard 58-year-old Langham first had sex with the girl within months of meeting her at the stage door of The Palace Theatre in London in 1996 where he was starring in Les Miserables.

She had gone with her mum to see the musical in 1996 and waited afterwards to collect autographs. They eventually saw the production up to 50 times and became friendly with both cast and crew members, including Langham.

The teenager was invited into his dressing room and he began to help her with acting lessons, breathing techniques and auditions.

It was during one such lesson, rehearsing a piece from The Merchant of Venice that Langham is alleged to have first kissed her

Langham is said to hae had lifted up his top to show her how to breathe from the diaphragm but the girl said she was unable to master the technique, so she sat down – whereupon Langham kissed her on the lips for about 20 to 30 seconds.

‘I just sat there stunned,’ she told the court. ‘I wasn't expecting that. He said it was so I could relate to the character because I didn’t really understand the meaning of affection and he said it would teach me to know what affection or love was.’

The jury of eight men and four women were told the Langham knew the girl came from a family where there was little, if any, physical contact.

The woman said they would speak and see each other regularly. Langham, who was a recovering alcoholic, took her shopping in Harrods and Harvey Nicholls, to top restaurants such as The Ivy.

She was also introduced to his wife and children and visited his family home. Together with her mother she also attended a party at media hangout Soho House to celebrate the actor's tenth anniversary of sobriety.

She told the court: ‘He would talk to me like I was a grown-up. Whatever I said it seemed to matter. When you are 14 you feel the world is against you but he was never like that. I looked up to him.

After their first kiss the relationship soon intensified, it was claimed, and the girl recalled another incident when he kissed her in his theatre dressing room.

‘He wasn't rough; it was just a slow kiss,’ she told the court. ‘Then he entered my mouth with his tongue. He stopped and said it was OK because when two people cared about each other it was a normal thing to do.

‘I kissed him back after he had said that. I didn't push him away...I guess it was OK because he was nice and I trusted him.’

She said they were both fully clothed. Langham then lay on top of her and rubbed himself against her. ‘I felt it was his way of making me feel extra special,’

The woman claimed Langham took her virginity when they spent the afternoon having sex in a London hotel.

‘He would always light a cigarette after which I didn't like,’ she told the court. ‘It made me feel uncomfortable. I had been made to feel special and it was straight afterwards. I would rather have cuddles than him get up and have a cigarette.’

Married father-of-five Langham, who near Cranbrook, Kent, denies ten charges of indecent assault between January 8 1996 and April 7 1998, two other serious sexual offences and 15 of making indecent photographs of a child in 2005. The trial continues.

Published: 16 Jul 2007

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