Retail giant Rivers' boss in sexual harassment lawsuit

The millionaire boss of Australian clothing giant Rivers has been sued for allegedly sexually harassing a female employee by forcing her into modelling underwear for him, news reports say.

According to the Herald Sun, Victorian Philip Harry Goodman, 54, has strongly denied the claims that he sexually assaulted former worker Sallyanne Robinson by groping her and forcing her to model underwear.

Robinson, 30, was reportedly employed at Rivers' head office in Melbourne's eastern suburb of Hawthorn, between September 2009 and July 2010.

She claims that during her employment Goodman made "unwelcome sexual advances" that included patting her on the bottom and grabbing her breast.

She also alleges he made her wear glasses fitted with cameras to spy on the displays of a retail competitor, the Herald Sun reports.

During the alleged underwear modelling incidents, she claims he pulled at her bra straps and on the bottom of her bra cups.

Robinson is seeking damages from Goodman and Rivers, and has taken legal action against them in the Federal Court.

Lawyers for Goodman and Rivers denied he sexually harassed, sexually assaulted or made unwelcome sexual advances to her.

They allege that Robinson has a history of bipolar behaviour and alcohol abuse.

They said Robinson, who now lives in Queensland, had not modelled underwear but had insisted on trying on undergarment samples in front of Goodman.

The matter is set to be heard in court next year.