84-year-old Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has been stripped of his ARIA Hall Of Fame award after he was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault against four girls in the UK between 1968 and 1986.
Harris was inducted in the Hall Of Fame in 2008 along with Dragon, Max Merritt, Russell Morris and The Triffids. His name has now been removed from the ARIA website, making Harris the first Australian entertainer to be stripped of the honour.
In a statement to theMusic.com.au ARIA CEO Dan Rosen confirmed the news. “Following his conviction in UK courts, the ARIA Board has made the decision to withdraw the ARIA Hall of Fame award bestowed upon Rolf Harris.”
Harris was also stripped of his Fellowship honours from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, following the guilty verdict. “The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has made the decision to annul the BAFTA Fellowship bestowed upon Rolf Harris in 2012 following his conviction,” reads the BAFTA statement.
The London jury took eight days to find Harris guilty of all 12 counts of indecent assault, with each count carrying a maximum penalty of two years in jail. Harris will be sentenced on Friday, but has been granted bail until then.
According to reports, Harris sat without obvious emotion during the hearing, and waved to his family as he walked out of the court with his legal team. A source close to the Harris family has told Fairfax that the entertainer was “in shock” following the verdicts.
Harris is also the recipient of a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) awarded to him by the Queen in 2006. Just a year earlier the Queen sat for Harris while he painted her portrait, commissioned by the BBC, to mark her 80th birthday.