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HOTEL MASSAGE SEX SCANDAL: IT WAS COSTNER; Star name ban lifted as masseuse wins pounds 30k from bosses.

Byline: By MARK SMITH and RON MOORE

KEVIN Costner was last night named as the Hollywood star who allegedly performed a lewd solo sex act in front of a masseuse at a leading Scots hotel.

Costner has strongly denied carrying out the act while on honeymoon with his wife.

But the 34-year-old masseuse won pounds 30,000 from her former bosses at the hotel over the alleged incident.

A ban on naming Costner was also lifted by an employment tribunal.

Last month the tribunal was told Costner - star of The Bodyguard, Dances With Wolves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and JFK - was being given a massage when he allegedly dropped his towel, exposed himself and performed the act.

The 34-year old married woman - who cannot be named for legal reasons - told the hearing in Dundee she was "mortified".

She said: "It was disgusting and even though he was a Hollywood superstar I couldn't believe he thought he could get away with something like that.

"Kevin Costner abused me and I considered that a criminal act.

"When I was giving his wife a massage afterwards I wanted to tell her everything."

She said that during a previous massage the star touched her back. The woman added: "The following day ... he asked if he made me uncomfortable by touching me the day before but I said no, I was a professional and you have to learn to deal with difficult clients.

"I asked him how he liked his massage and he said he liked it sweet.

"I thought it a strange term to describe a massage. He asked me if I was comfortable touching him everywhere and I said no.

"Throughout the massage he kept putting his hand under his towel but he never kept it there long enough for me to suspect anything."

But she said the star grabbed her wrist forcefully, whipped off his towel and performed the sex act.

She left the room but a colleague went in and saw what had happened.

The woman claimed she was treated differently after complaining to bosses and was eventually sacked.

She claimed unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and protective disclosure against the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, Fife - where father of three Costner was on honeymoon with his second wife Christine.

He was also taking part in the 2004 Dunhill Pro-am tournament in St Andrews.

Just before yesterday's resumed hearing the woman reached a settlement with hotel lawyers.

Afterwards the woman - who signed a confidentiality agreement under the settlement - told the Daily Mirror: "I can't say anything about this." Her husband said: "I am not willing to say anything. We've probably said too much already. I can't say we have put all this behind us until everything is 100 per cent settled."

The ban on naming Costner was lifted after the tribunal heard the allegations had been published and he had been named on the internet, in the National Enquirer in America, Australia's Sunday Times and even the Himalaya Times in Nepal.

Tribunal chairman Nicol Hosie ruled that a temporary reporting restriction, which had prevented Costner being named, could be lifted as his name was fully in the public domain.

Costner's solicitors said: "We find it unfortunate that Mr Costner's name is being brought into what is essentially a dispute between a company owned by a good friend of his and a former employee."

The Old Course Hotel said in a statement: "With respect for the privacy of our associates and in deference to the dignity of the legal process, it is the company's position not to comment on matters of litigation.

"The parties have settled this matter. The terms are confidential and undisclosed."

Costner's publicist Paul Bloch said: "This was never about Kevin Costner. It is a dispute between a hotel and an ex-employee."

mark.smith@mirror.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

PAYOUT: Masseuse after hearing yesterday' SHAMED: Costner in tournament' HONEYMOON: Christine Costner, left, and hotel, above
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 26, 2006
Words:657
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