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Sunday, 12 August, 2001, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Police 'to examine Hamilton e-mails'
Police are reportedly planning to examine Neil and Christine Hamilton's computers in an attempt to find out if sexual assault allegations against them are true.

The couple, who have strongly denied the claims, were released on police bail on Friday after being questioned for five hours over allegations of sexual assault made by a 28-year-old mother of two.

The Hamiltons' alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the disgraced former Tory minister and his wife performed indecent acts on her at a flat in Ilford, east London while a 60-year-old man raped her.

Neil Hamilton emerged from his London home on Sunday
Mr Hamilton spoke to reporters as he set off for a jog
The News of the World says the woman, who first went to publicist Max Clifford with the allegations, met Mrs Hamilton through an internet chatroom.

Mr Hamilton emerged from the couple's London home on Sunday morning, looking relaxed.

He told reporters he was going for a run in the park and would give a statement later.

The couple would be travelling to their house in Cheshire on Sunday, he added.

The Mail on Sunday has published what it says are transcripts of the couple's interviews with detectives.

Mrs Hamilton apparently broke down in tears when asked if she visited pornographic websites or attended "swingers" parties.

Dinner alibi

In the alleged transcripts, Mrs Hamilton told police they had friends over for a dinner party on the night of the alleged attack, 5 May.

She said she had served jellied Bloody Marys, one of her specialities.

Sunday papers
The Sunday tabloids have devoted many pages to the story
Mrs Hamilton is said to have told police: "I only know what a swingers' party is because I recently met Mr Louis Theroux [currently filming a documentary on the Hamiltons] who has made a programme about them and I understand from him that a swingers' party is a wife- or husband-swapping party."

When he was questioned by detectives, Mr Hamilton blamed the allegations on the involvement of the publicist Max Clifford.

"It is wholly false and the girl is either hallucinating or it is part of a malicious fabrication and, given Mr Clifford is involved, I suspect the latter," he said.

'Surreal allegations'

On Saturday Mrs Hamilton said: "Anybody who has got a single marble in their head will know it's a complete load of nonsense.

"It's horrendous. It's been one of the worst 24 hours of my life. I just can't believe it. It's surreal."

Later she declined to comment about revelations by the alleged rape victim published in the News of the World.

In the article the woman claimed someone calling herself Lady Hamilton had sent her a pornographic picture over the internet.

The woman claimed she was raped during an orgy and was told to "shut up and enjoy it".

Max Clifford
Max Clifford claims a woman came to see him with the allegations
Scotland Yard would not confirm the identity of the man - named in some of the newspapers - who the woman accuses of raping her.

They have confirmed a man aged 60 was arrested in June as part of the same inquiry and bailed until later this month.

The man told the Sunday Mirror that although he knew the woman who had made the allegations he had never had sex with her.

He also denied knowing the Hamiltons or acting as their chauffeur.

He said: "I never had sex with the woman. I never even kissed her. There is not a shred of evidence against me."

Fayed denies 'smear'

On Saturday Mohammed Al Fayed's spokesman rejected comments made by Mr Hamilton, which implied the Harrods boss had mounted a smear campaign against the couple.

He said the suggestion that the Harrods boss was behind the allegations was a "totally false trail".

Mr Hamilton is said to owe the Harrods boss 1.5m after an unsuccessful libel action against him. Police said the Hamiltons were due to return to an unnamed police station on an unnamed date, pending further inquiries.

The BBC's Daniel Boettcher
"The Hamiltons have repeatedly denied the accusations made against them"
Christine Hamilton
"The whole thing is just a monstrous outrageous waste of police time"
Publicist Max Clifford
"I have got no interest in the Hamiltons whatsoever"
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