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Attorney for Frankel’s accusers defends his actions

Sidney Frankel’s lawyer says Ian Levitt is guilty of dragging sexual claims through the media.

FILE: The legal representatives in the Sidney Frankel civil case have taken knocks at each other over media involvement. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Sidney Frankel's attorney says the lawyer acting for the plaintiffs, who have brought a civil case against the former stock broker, is guilty of dragging the matter through the media.

In court papers filed on Wednesday, Frankel's accusers claim they attempted to resolve the matter amicably by approaching him and his wife, in order to avoid taking the matter to court and the press.

The billionaire philanthropist has been accused by seven people of sexually assaulting them, decades ago when they were young children.

They filed a civil claim against Frankel and his lawyer, Billy Gundelfinger responded by bringing an application for security, asking those claimants who live overseas to put up R145,000 each.

Gundelfinger says the plaintiffs' decision to hold a media briefing in Johannesburg, on Thursday, is an example of how they're handling the matter.

"This is completely false. I have taken valid procedural steps and it is outrageous that Ian Levitt, the attorney representing the seven plaintiffs, says in his affidavit that I am dragging the matter through the courts and the media."

But Levitt has defended his decision to hold the briefing.

"Should we continue with the secrecy and the shame that allows for this to happen? Let's bar the media from [the] sexual abuse of children. We are going to be tried and judged in a court of law, but this is an issue for media. Sexual abuse of children affects my child and affects your children."