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Sunday, 7 May, 2000, 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK
Charlotte lewd comment accusations

Charlotte Church: Centre of the legal wrangle
Leaked legal documents accuse the former manager of Charlotte Church of making lewd comments about the teenage star.

The papers say Jonathan Shalit made comments in front of record industry executives about the girl's breasts when she was 13.

Neither Charlotte, her mother, father or trustees ever made such a complaint during the course of our professional relationship

Jonathan Shalit

Mr Shalit, who was sacked as Church's manager in January, has strenuously denied the allegations.

The accusations are contained in documents drawn up by Church's parents after Mr Shalit began suing them for alleged breach of his contract with the 14-year-old singer.

Hotel room

Mr Shalit, who discovered Church in August 1997, is said to have made the comments to industry executives in a hotel room.

But the ex-manager said he was "shocked and saddened" at the accusations made against him.
Charlotte Church
Church's talent was spotted by Jonathan Shalit

He said: "I did not initiate the discussion, but simply replied to a question regarding the appropriateness of [her] sweater.

"Sensibly and responsibly, I considered the figure-hugging sweater inappropriate for a 13-year-old child - such a garment being sexually provocative.

"Neither Charlotte, her mother, father or trustees ever made such a complaint during the course of our professional relationship.

"As parents they would have naturally said something had there been inappropriate behaviour.

He added that the first he knew of the allegations was more than two months after he had finished working with the Church family.

He said that he had even been trusted by Charlotte's mother, Maria, to take her on his own to the doctor.

Helicopters and sports cars

The papers allege that Mr Shalit, 38, manipulated the teenage star for his own financial gain by using a private helicopter in return for Charlotte singing free at Rupert Murdoch's wedding.

And they accuse him of insisting on a cost price Aston Martin from Ford when Charlotte appeared in an advert for the company.

In response to the allegations Mr Shalit said: "Charlotte's enjoyment was the sole reason that we took the helicopter."

"[With Ford] I suggested that in return for waiving my commission, I be allowed to purchase the Aston Martin at cost, even though the deal gave Charlotte's parents two cars for free, thus saving Charlotte a legitimate commission payment."

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See also:

06 May 00 | Entertainment
Church wins Classical Brit award
29 Oct 99 | Wales
Charlotte in the driving seat
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