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Reason Harris’ wife unaware of his death

Rolf Harris court case
Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris with daughter Bindi (left) and wife Alwen. Picture: Anthony Devlin

The wife of convicted pedophile Rolf Harris may not know about her disgraced husband’s death following shock revelations.

The former children's entertainer was confirmed dead on Tuesday aged 93, having died in England almost two weeks earlier.

Harris spent years living as a recluse in his luxury Berkshire home before dying of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma and old age on May 10.

In a statement, Harris’ family said the former TV star had “recently died, peacefully, surrounded by family and friends and has been laid to rest”.

“They ask that you respect their privacy. No further comment will be made,” they said.

Harris’ wife, Alwen, vehemently supported her husband after he was released from jail in 2017 for sexually assaulting six females.

The 91-year-old was similarly unwell prior to her husband’s death, being bound to a wheelchair and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

It is unclear if Ms Harris is aware of her husband’s passing in light of her Alzheimer's diagnosis, which impacts memory retention.

Entertainer Rolf Harris Dies aged 93 Rolf Harris On Trial  For Alleged Indecent Assault
Rolf Harris spent years living as a recluse in his luxury Berkshire home. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Harris married his sculptor wife in 1958 after the pair met at art school.

The couple’s daughter Bindi had no comment when asked about her father’s death, the Daily Mail UK reported.

A family friend told the publication that Bindi had “nothing to say about him for years”.

News of the once-esteemed children TV personality’s death was met with an outpouring of support for victims by Australian leaders.

Anthony Albanese told ABC on Tuesday it was a difficult day for Harris’ victims.

“My thoughts are with victims who, for today, not just are victims of Rolf Harris but for others as well,” the Prime Minister said.

“It will be a day in which traumatic experiences could be revisited and my thoughts are with them.

“I hope that if they need support, (they) reach out and they get it today. That is who my thoughts are with today.”

Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley told reporters in Canberra that she felt for the victims of Harris’ “appalling crimes”.

“Whenever someone makes the news that brings back awful memories,” Ms Ley said.

Do You Know What It Is Yet?
Alwen Harris, the wife of Australian entertainer Rolf Harris, with their newborn baby daughter Bindi in 1964. Picture: Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

“Today is a day to actually think of the victim survivors of the heinous crimes that were committed by Rolf Harris.

“(And) to remember them and to remember all victim survivors who are often retraumatised on days like this.”

Harris was best known for the song Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport and painted the late Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th birthday portrait.

His esteemed position in the arts and TV worlds changed when in 2014 he was convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault.

He was sentenced to five years and nine months in jail but was released on parole in 2017.

The assaults included an eight-year-old autograph hunter, two girls in their early teens, and a friend of his daughter, the Daily Mail UK reported.

Private investigator William Merritt, who recently authored a book on Harris, said he would help defend outstanding sexual assault allegations.

Rolf Harris was sentenced to five years and nine months in jail but was released on parole in 2017. Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images
Rolf Harris was sentenced to five years and nine months in jail but was released on parole in 2017. Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images

“Harris has gone to his grave a victim of his own naivety,” he said.

“His daughter Bindi is devastated by his death.”

Speaking with the Daily Mail UK, Mr Merritt also shed light on the 93-year-old’s last moments.

“Rolf has been very sick,” Mr Merritt said.

“When I saw him he was able to speak to me. He was with it, but he was obviously unwell.”

Mr Merritt said Harris had neck cancer and there had been serious concerns about his health, although he was “getting on with things”.

Due to the cancer, Harris is said to have “gurgled” when talking.