A multi-millionaire has been been granted anonymity after facing allegations for sexual harassment and assault in an employment tribunal.
The businessman, who has been named Mr X, is said to be one of the UK’s most powerful figures.
It is believed he paid off two women with large financial settlements last year before the employment case took place, reported The Times.
As part of the settlement, the women had to withdraw the claims and sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), also known as gagging orders, to ban them from revealing their stories to the public.
The women claim they were physically assaulted and groped in the businessman’s private office and his country residence.
One said she was attacked before being orally raped by the prolific figure while at work.
Men and women who worked with the two alleged victims also provided witness statements detailing physical assaults, bullying and ill treatment when working for the man, according to the paper.
However, Mr X has always denied the allegations.
The Times said it had fought a legal battle for more than a year for the right to report the case but a ruling by Mr Justice Soole last month prevented it from naming him.
His decision was made to protect the millionaire’s ‘honour and reputation’, adding that the case involved allegations against the ‘public figure with a well-known family name’, ‘which are ‘entirely denied’.
Judge Soole was concerned the public might not be able to ‘distinguish between allegation and proof’ and that revealing his identity would have ‘personal consequences’.
Instead the paper published a redacted report on Saturday to highlight the threat to open justice and the continued use of gagging orders to silence alleged victims.
NDAs came under scrutiny as allegations of sexual assault and misconduct emerged with the Me Too movement, which are legal contracts used to prevent people from discussing confidential information and keep trade secrets private.
Last month, MPs criticised employers who ‘routinely’ use NDAs to cover up allegations of unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace.