Sir Philip Green allegedly subjected people working in his business empire to abuse and other inappropriate behaviour that was at times racial, physical and sexual, according to a report.
A host of serious allegations were published on Friday evening by the Daily Telegraph after an injunction obtained by the businessman was lifted.
The paper said some of the people involved had made complaints about Green but they had been covered up. In some cases, Green is alleged to have paid people large sums of money in return for their silence.
He was accused of making racist remarks to black employees, of groping female employees and of being physically aggressive and abusive towards both male and female members of staff.
The paper made the allegations public on Friday evening after Green dropped legal action against it in the high court earlier the same day.
The paper reported last October that an unidentified businessman had obtained an injunction against it. Peter Hain, operating under cover of parliamentary privilege, later revealed that figure to be Green. As a result, the businessman’s lawyers argued there was no longer any point in pursuing legal action and a judge agreed to allow him to withdraw it on Friday, ordering him to pay the Telegraph’s costs. The paper has estimated his bill to be in the region of £3m.
In one of the claims reported by the Telegraph on Friday, it was alleged that Green mocked a black employee’s dreadlocks and accused him of smoking cannabis, as well as telling him his “problem” was that “everyone else is firing guns and you’re still throwing spears in the jungle”. The employee later accepted a £1m payment on condition that he signed a gagging order, the Telegraph reported. The man refused to comment when contacted by the paper.
The report said other staff had raised concerns about Green, with some claiming the need to be “careful about hiring” had been discussed because Green felt there were “too many black people” in his Arcadia business.
Green denied any “unlawful … racist behaviour”, the paper said.