Woman says Alex Salmond kissed her after doing zombie impression
BBC Scotland is reporting that an SNP party worker has claimed Alex Salmond did an impression of a zombie before kissing her on both cheeks then trying to kiss her on the mouth.
The witness, known as Woman J, said the alleged incident – shortly before the independence referendum – had been “like an awful nightmare”.
She also alleged that Mr Salmond later asked if she wanted to “stay over” at his Bute House residence.
Mr Salmond denies sexually assaulting Woman J in September 2014. He has also pled not guilty to a further 13 charges of sexual assault against nine other women.
The alleged offences are all said to have happened when Mr Salmond was serving as Scotland’s first minister and the leader of the SNP.
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Woman J told the High Court in Edinburgh that she had been working with Mr Salmond in Bute House when she left the room to go to the toilet.
When she returned, she claimed to have “utterly froze” after finding Mr Salmond “lying on the ground, between the dining table and the back of the sofa.”
She alleged that Mr Salmond had a pen and paper next to him, and told her to “come here and work on this speech”.
Woman J said she lay on the ground some distance from Mr Salmond because she did not want to anger him.
The witness alleged that they were both working on the speech when “out of the blue” he asked: “Have you seen that zombie movie?”
She claimed that Mr Salmond told her to stand up before he “stretched his arms out straight towards me and did an impression of a zombie walking towards me”.
She added: “He put his arms on my shoulders and leaned in to kiss me on one cheek and then proceeded to move me out of the way to kiss my other cheek.
“Then he leaned in to kiss me on the lips.”
Woman J said she raised her arms to break his connection on her shoulders, and had attempted to act like nothing had happened.
But she alleged that Mr Salmond had later touched her briefly on the leg and face.
And she claimed he had said she could “stay over” if she wanted to – to which she had thought there was “no way in hell I was”.
Under cross-examination from defence lawyer Shelagh McCall QC, Woman J agreed that Mr Salmond was a “touchy feely, tactile person” who had sometimes kissed members of the public, and that she had thought that this was inappropriate.
Ms McCall put it to the witness: “This incident with the zombie film, he says that never happened. You’re going to tell me it did?”
Woman J replied: “Yes”.
She also agreed that she had continued to work with Mr Salmond after the alleged incident.
Earlier in the day’s evidence, a former civil servant known as Woman K claimed that photographs were taken of her as Mr Salmond grabbed hold of her bottom.
She said the photographs were taken at an event at Stirling Castle shortly before Mr Salmond stood down as first minister in November 2014.
Woman K claimed that Mr Salmond had been “very insistent” that she have her photograph taken with him.
She alleged that, as they were standing in front of the photographer, Mr Salmond put his arm around her before he “reached down and grabbed hold of my backside”.
Woman K said Mr Salmond had done this “quite forcefully with his full hand” and it had felt “very deliberate”.
She said she had felt “shock and disbelief” but had tried to “just keep smiling”.
She said: “I just want to do my job and feel proud of myself doing my job and it felt like I was being demeaned. It was unprofessional but there was nothing I could do about it.”
The court was shown a series of photographs of the woman with Mr Salmond.
She appeared to have her eyes shut in several of them, and to be looking at Mr Salmond in another.
Woman K told the court that she looked “very embarrassed” because of “what had just happened”.
She said another photograph shown to the court showed a “look of disbelief” on her face.
The witness said she had no choice but to get on with her job, but the next day she told her manager what had happened “to make sure he was aware”