EXCLUSIVE The loyal PA who kept Rolf Harris's death a secret

EXCLUSIVE – REVEALED: The loyal PA who kept Rolf Harris’s death a secret for weeks – and stood by the disgraced star through sex abuse case as she maintained his innocence

Rolf Harris’s death from neck cancer aged 93 was hidden for almost a fortnight with the help his ultra-loyal PA, allowing his daughter Bindi to grieve and secretly lay him to rest, MailOnline can reveal today.

Lisa Ratcliff, 53, supported the disgraced star for more than a decade and helped campaign for him while he was in jail and after his release, claiming all the sex offences he was convicted of were miscarriages of justice.

His wife Alwen, 91, a jeweller and sculptor is in a wheelchair and seriously ill because of Alzheimer’s disease but the couple, who married in 1958, lived together until his death with Lisa in charge of their carers and taking Rolf to appointments.

Lisa will also have been central to keeping Harris’ death a secret for almost a fortnight, allowing his family to mourn and have a private cremation.

One insider told MailOnline today that it is not out of the question that Ms Ratcliff could benefit from Harris’ will and inherit some of his estimated £15million fortune. The pair are said to have bonded over their love of dogs and her unstinting support, especially following his fall from grace.

Rolf was said to always reward loyalty over his 60-plus years in the limelight, the source said: ‘Rolf was wealthy – and Bindi will expect to get everything. But her father was also generous and it’s possible he could leave money, art or possessions to Lisa in recognition of what she did for him’.

Lisa Ratcliff, 53, after registering the death of her boss, and friend, Rolf Harris at Maidenhead Town Hall this week – almost two weeks after his passing

Harris was last pictured in public in April 2022, with Ms Ratcliff pushing him in his wheelchair as he was treated for neck cancer

Former television entertainer Rolf Harris leaves Southwark Crown Court in 2017, followed by Ms Ratcliff, his loyal aide

Rolf Harris’ death certificate revealed his cause of death. He died at home on May 10 – 13 days ago.. Lisa Ratcliff was the person who registered it

Harris poses with his didgeridoo in one of the last ever photos taken of the disgraced former TV host in January 

Lisa maintained that Rolf was innocent, sharing and signing this petition

The insider claimed that his PA was also his confidante after his release from prison, with a treasure trove of notes that would make a best-selling memoir following his death.

‘Rolf was known to furiously dictate to her. There is only one person who has those notes and that is Lisa. A lot has been written down that has never released and that is a bestselling book right there’, the source said.

‘He also had art worth between £11million and £13million but these paintings became virtually worthless after he was convicted. But there is a view that could change now he has died. Lisa handled everything for Rolf’.

MailOnline has approached Ms Ratcliff to comment. The Harris family declined to comment via their lawyer Daniel Berke.

The certificate formally confirming Harris’s death was registered at the Windsor and Maidenhead registry office on Tuesday morning by Ms Ratcliff herself – described as his ‘runaround girl’ for many years. 

She stayed for more than an hour before coming out and rushing to her waiting car without answering questions from the media. Minutes later his death – 13 days earlier – was confirmed to the world.

There was mystery over why Ms Ratcliff waited almost two weeks to formally register the death. Deaths should normally be registered within five days, though there can be exceptions. 

Kent-born grammar schoolgirl Ms Ratcliff worked herself up from a secretary to Rolf’s most trusted aide over the course of around a decade.  

Rolf Harris (second left) and his wife Alwen Hughes (second right) were recluses and rarely left their home in Bray, Berkshire. Their daughter Bindi is said to have relied on Lisa Ratcliff to support the care for her parents 

A private ambulance with its rear doors open at the home of Rolf Harris  on the day after he died

The £5million Berkshire home where Harris spent his final days as a virtual recluse 

His daughter Bindi, who lives in the West Country, was happy for her to organise his round the clock care as he battled neck cancer and old age since walking free from prison in 2017. 

Neighbours said she was the only regular visitor to the riverside house in Bray as Rolf lived as a near recluse after many of his friends abandoned him.

‘Rolf has taken over Lisa’s life. She’s seen what Rolf has suffered and others around him and is totally invested’, the insider said.

‘After he was released from jail she had got into a position of great strength, because Bindi relied on her. Bindi had very little to do with Rolf’s affairs and had her own life and lives in the country away from her parents’.

Bindi lives with her husband Craig Nicholls in Somerset and was rumoured to have changed her name and cut ties with her parents. However she supported her father throughout his trials for sexual assaults in 2014.

‘Bindi made up with her dad but had her own life. That allowed Lisa to start dictating who Rolf could see and what he could do’, the source said.

‘Lisa did a great job with the carers – but she was not good with PR and business affairs. But Bindi thinks she is doing a brilliant job.

‘She’s been asked to do more – because there was no one else – Rolf didn’t have many people left around him after what happened’.

The family friend said: ‘Rolf’s death was not registered for almost two weeks – Lisa would have handled that. Bindi would be too upset to do it. Lisa is the strong one. Bindi would leave it to Lisa. Bindi is a lovely person, gentle and easily stressed, just like her mum. It’s no surprise that Lisa registered Rolf’s death. Bindi wouldn’t be able to do it’. 

The circumstances of Harris’ death had been shrouded in secrecy – partly due to him having totally withdrawn from public life ever since his conviction for sexual assault on underage girls in 2014.

Rumours of his death began on May 10 when a grey van thought to be a private ambulance, was pictured outside the £5million Thameside mansion he shared with wheelchair-bound, Alzheimers’-suffering wife, Alwen Hughes.

He was known to have been suffering with neck cancer since at least October last year, struggling to eat and talk, and both he and his wife required 24-hour private care.

Rolf was known to have been suffering with cancer since at least October last year, struggling to eat and talk, and both he and his wife required 24-hour private care. 

Alwen Harris can been seen beaming in one of the recent photos as Harris puts his arm around her while holding the paw of their family dog at home in January. Lisa was in charge of organising their round the clock care, an insider has said

After getting neck cancer, Rolf Harris (pictured during the pandemic) could no longer talk or eat and requires around the clock care

A new ITVX documentary recently unearthed disturbing footage of Rolf Harris joking with Jimmy Savile about leaving a little girl ‘safely in his arms’

Rolf Harris (pictured performing in the early 1970s) was a much-loved entertainer in Australia and the UK until his arrest in 2013

Rolf Harris’ is pictured with a dog at the RSPCA Animal Hospital in Putney, UK

Rolf Harris in the dock. He was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison and was released on parole in 2017 after serving three years. He never apologised to his victims

William Merritt, a private investigator and author, said previously that when he saw Harris in late 2022 he was obviously ‘very sick’.

No one came forward to confirm the death until reporters were able to obtain a copy of the death certificate. Even neighbours and friends were not certain whether Harris had died.

A statement from the family said on May 23: ‘Rolf Harris recently died peacefully surrounded by family and friends and has now been laid to rest. They ask that you respect their privacy. No further comment will be made.’

Harris began his career with hits including Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport and Jake the Peg and became a TV personality during the 1960s and 70s, later presenting shows such as Animal Hospital. In 2005 he painted the 80th birthday portrait of the late Queen.

But his career came crashing down in 2014 after he was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault on four girls between 1968 and 1986 – including one victim aged just seven or eight.

He was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison and was released on parole in 2017 after serving three years. He never apologised to his victims.

At his sentencing the court heard he was a ‘sinister pervert’ who used his fame to get close to young women.

One of the convictions, relating to an allegation that he indecently assaulted an eight-year-old was overturned on appeal in November 2017. But Court of Appeal judges dismissed his application to challenge the other 11 convictions.

In light of his offending, Harris had his 2012 Bafta fellowship removed and was stripped of his CBE. He also had Australian honours taken away.

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