Doug Richard, millionaire businessman and former Dragons’ Den star, is set to go on trial for allegedly engaging in sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl.
Richard is accused of paying the teenager for sex after meeting her on a “Sugar Daddy” website.
His five-day trial, which begins today, will be heard at the Old Bailey.
According to various media reports, he allegedly spanked the girl’s bottom and engaged in other sexual activity with her.
The 57-year-old is charged with three counts of sexual activity with a child, one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and a charge of paying a child for sexual services.
Richard appeared on two series of the BBC show Dragons’ Den, and later became an advisor to David Cameron on entrepreneurial policy. He founded a business loans initiative called School For Startups.
In a short statement in October last year, he said: “I absolutely deny the charges against me and will contest this matter in court.”