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Married HSBC boss, 48, nicknamed ‘Weinstein’ accused of sexual discrimination

A married HSBC boss dubbed ‘Weinstein’ had an affair with a colleague and romped with another woman in the toilet at work, an employment tribunal heard.

Madeliene Luckham, head of delivery for HSBC staff digitisation, had an affair with her boss Robert Clegg, who told her she was not his first fling and that he did not love his wife, she claims.

But when they split, she said Mr Clegg, who was global head of her department, would leer at her chest, touch her uninvited in public and made her feel professionally and personally worthless.

She also told of him flirting with other women in front of her after they separated, getting ‘very handsy’ at work with another woman and whispering in the woman’s ear ‘we’d have great sex’.

Robert Clegg (pictured) is accused of sexual discrimination and is facing a tribunal in Stratford, East London

Pictured:Madeleine Luckham

Robert Clegg (pictured) is accused of sexual discrimination against Madeleine Luckham (right) and is facing a tribunal in Stratford, East London 

Ms Luckham, 38, from Teddington in south west London, also accused Mr Clegg of rubbing against her in meetings.

And after confronting him about cheating on her with another woman she was left feeling like a a ‘cheap fill-in’ as he said their relationship had been just ‘casual drunken sex’, the hearing was told.

Ms Luckham, who earned £550 a day as a contractor said she was promised a permanent job for a £130,000 salary but that never materialised after they broke up and he turned against her.

She is now suing both HSBC and Mr Clegg for sex discrimination which both deny.

She told Stratford Employment Tribunal that they split up in April 2018 and she first had doubts the previous Christmas after a trip to New York when she realised she would ‘break the hearts’ of his four young children.

But Mr Clegg, 48, from Newbury in Berkshire, told the tribunal he ended the affair in January 2018 during a joint work trip to Hong Kong where Ms Luckham had made snide comments about him in a bid to embarrass him.

He said he had told her ‘we’re done’ and had started seeing a counsellor with his wife to try and save their marriage, according to his witness statement.

She said the affair had started in October 2017 at HSBC’s fintech hub in Southwark when they had dinner together at Hickster’s after team drinks at Jack’s bar, the tribunal heard.

The pair shared a consensual kiss and returned to Mr Clegg’s Mercure Hotel, opposite, where he invited Ms Luckham to spend the night and later asked her for WhatsApp sex after she refused, it was said.

Robert Clegg (pictured umpiring the women's boat race for Cancer Research UK) denies sexual discrimination as does HSBC

Robert Clegg (pictured umpiring the women’s boat race for Cancer Research UK) denies sexual discrimination as does HSBC

She said: ‘We met the next day and discussed what had happened the night before as well as his marriage.

‘He told me that his marriage was over and that it was a matter of financially getting to the position where he could divorce.

‘He said that he and his wife were no longer intimate, he didn’t love her anymore, that they led separate lives and that they were only together for their children. He also told me I wasn’t his first affair.’

Three days later, Mr Clegg invited Ms Luckham for dinner and they later had sex at his hotel.

The pair would send complimentary messages to one another at work, with Mr Clegg texting her ‘you look good enough to eat today’ the tribunal heard.

She said they would kiss, hold hands and play footsie under the table at work and that Mr Clegg had told her he loved her.

But on April 7, Ms Luckham said Mr Clegg became extremely flirtatious with a woman from SOMO, an external contractor ‘in front of her eyes’.

She said she was heartbroken hearing rumours of him being ‘very handsy’ with someone at a work social event around the same time.

Ms Luckham said: ‘He had walked behind her, placed his hands around her, resting at the top of her legs and said in her ear ‘we’d have great sex.’

‘I was heartbroken and decided to speak to Rob about it directly.’

In her witness statement, she said: ‘Kai Kartel (a work friend) and I discussed Rob, the way he looked at women like they were prey and the fact that he had even earned himself a nickname back at the SOMO offices, ‘Weinstein’..’

Ms Luckham said Mr Clegg found the conversation about his flirting with other women very distressing, apologised and blamed it on their relationship not going well.

She said: ‘He then blamed it on his situation at home, the way his wife was treating him and said that he did not feel like himself.

‘He asked for another chance and I stupidly agreed. However in the blink of an eye on April 9, I discovered that he was sleeping with someone else in the office.’

Ms Luckham said the pair met the following day when she believes she ended the relationship.

She said: ‘However Rob was quite dismissive of me and my feelings and started to belittle our relationship.

‘He intimated that it was true he was sleeping with one of our colleagues. He minimised our relationship calling it casual drunken sex that he wasn’t getting at home, as though I was a cheap fill-in for him and that was that.

‘During the conversation, he repeated that he ‘couldn’t afford to leave HSBC’ the clear inference being that I should leave instead.’

In the immediate aftermath of their breakup, Ms Luckham said things changed in the office and Mr Clegg told her ‘out of the blue’ he was not entirely happy with her work and that he touched her in a meeting.

She said: ‘In one meeting we were in together he walked the long way round behind me and placed both hands on my hips as he slid by, rubbing himself behind me.

‘I felt my body tense and recoil. This was just one of numerous examples of unwanted touching and sexual harassment over the next few months.’

On May 1, Ms Luckham discovered the permanent role, she had accepted in writing with a £130k base salary, was no longer available she claims.

But the tribunal was also told Ms Luckham was given until May 21 to apply for the role but did not do so.

Ms Luckham said Mr Clegg would talk to her ‘like dirt’ behind closed doors and blame her for everything that had gone wrong, and switch the second they left the room.

She said he would rub his leg against hers in meetings and stare at her chest while talking to her which she found ‘totally unacceptable.’

She said: ‘I felt violated. It was torture.’

Ms Luckham also recalled seeing Mr Clegg go into a staff toilet where she claimed he had sex with another woman after allegedly trying to prevent her from moving into the new role.

She said: ‘As I walked past, through the outer door, I saw her knock on one of the cubicle doors and it opened.

‘Rob was already inside. Rob had just moments ago destroyed my career and was now having sex in the office toilet.

‘Roughly ten minute later Rob returned from the toilets looking all sweaty and dishevelled and gave me the most sinister smile I’ve ever seen in my life. I felt physically sick.’

By the end of June, Ms Luckham said she was very affected by stress and anxiety and had dropped more than a dress size.

She claimed the treatment by the bank and Mr Clegg that almost drove her to suicide and left her with possible PTSD.

But Mr Clegg, denied most of the accusations and said he felt like his personality was under constant violent attack by Ms Luckham.

In his witness statement, Mr Clegg said: ‘On advice from HR, I eventually took the decision not to renew the claimant’s contract which ended in August 2018 because of behavioural issues which had ruined the previously positive working culture in my team and become impossible to manage.

‘I accept my share of responsibility for that in allowing my relationship with the claimant to impact my actions as manager.’

He added: ‘However I did not discriminate against, bully or harass the claimant.’

But Ms Luckham told the hearing: ‘I have been the victim of bullying, harassment and discrimination at the hands of HSBC and Rob in particular.

‘I was victimised as a result of raising a grievance in relation to Rob’s conduct.

‘Ultimately I was forced out of HSBC.

‘I will ask the tribunal to infer that this was because I was a woman and/or that it was part of the campaign of bullying, harassment and victimisation to which I was subject.’

She added: ‘At HSBC women only have a voice if there is a stronger male voice behind them.

‘There is a pervasive culture of sexism at HSBC in which women are objectified by their male colleagues, ignored when complaints are raised by them and frozen out of the business when they are perceived as ‘difficult.”

She told the tribunal: ‘What is sad about HSBC is I felt I had found a place where I wanted to stay for a long time.’

 

 

 

 

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