Emma Watson has struck up a close friendship with the son of controversial tycoon Sir Philip Green, MailOnline can reveal.
The Harry Potter actress, who is well known for her ‘woke’ views about gender equality, has grown close to 28-year-old Brandon Green, say friends.
Emma was pictured with Brandon just earlier this month when they disembarked together from a helicopter in Battersea, west London.
She has grown close to Brandon after secretly splitting earlier this year from businessman Leo Robinton, 31, after two years together.
Emma Watson was pictured with Sir Philip Green’s son Brandon on September 2 when they landed in Battersea on a private helicopter
Friends of the pair say that the left-wing eco-warrior actress has struck up an unlikely friendship with the tycoon’s who spends time on his family’s superyacht in Monaco
Friends of the unlikely pair say that Emma (left) is ‘into’ Brandon (right), but that they have kept their blossoming friendship under wraps for several months
Brandon Green (right) is close to his father Sir Philip and runs an arm of his retail business, although Brandon tends to remain out of the limelight more so than his sister Chloe (left)
Friends say they are shocked by the blossoming relationship because the left-wing actress and Brandon make an unlikely pairing.
Brandon is the son of British billionaire Sir Philip, former owner of BHS and Topshop owner who for two decades was one of the UK’s most controversial and colourful retailers. Brandon now runs one arm of his tycoon father’s empire.
Sir Philip’s fortunes have fallen in recent years with the collapse of his Arcadia group in November with the closure of 500 stores and 13,000 jobs.
The businessman, 69, has also faced allegations of bullying and sexual harassment in 2018, which he denied.
A friend told MailOnline how the actress, who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, had become increasingly close to Brandon since May while keeping their relationship under wraps.
The friend said: ‘Over the summer Brandon has been wooing Emma. She’s into him, but has kept it secret as no one knows that things have cooled with Leo.
‘She’s been spending a lot of time with Brandon. He’s really kind to her and she enjoys his company. We are surprised that no one has realised that they were together. Brandon and Leo look similar. She certainly has a type.’
Brandon was seen earlier this summer with his mother Tina on holiday in the French Riviera
Brandon, seen soaking up the sun on his family’s boat in July, has been wooing Emma all summer, according to friends, who say that Emma quietly split from her boyfriend in May
Brandon has always had a lower profile than his sister Chloe, 30, who made headlines over her relationship with US model and convicted felon Jeremy Meeks – dubbed ‘the hot felon’ – who is the father of her child.
But the son of Sir Philip and his wife Tina has also enjoyed a billionaire lifestyle since his childhood, living for many years in the tax haven of Monaco with his parents and sister.
No one seemed to notice Brandon was with Emma when she landed on September 2
Brandon who is known for his muscular physique and his love of working out has regularly been photographed while relaxing on his family’s £100m superyacht Lionheart.
Sir Philip reportedly spent £4m on a bar mitzvah party for his son in 2005 at the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera with performances by Andrea Bocelli and Beyoncé.
A LinkedIn profile for Brandon describes him as having been an executive director overseeing Digital Transformation and Technology for his father’s Arcadia fashion business since 2014.
Emma shot to fame as a child in 2001 playing Hermione in the film adaptation of J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, alongside Daniel Radcliffe as the boy wizard and Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley.
She was nominated for five awards for her performance in the highest grossing film of the year and won a Young Artist Award for being the world’s Leading Young Actress.
The actress went on to star in seven more Harry Potter films, and other big screen roles including playing Belle in the 2017 live-action Disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
Emma’s friends say she quietly split from businessman Leo Robinton (above), earlier this year
But while making her fortune from acting, she has also devoted time to activism and fighting for the rights of women in recent years.
Emma was made a United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador in July 2014 and has taken part in initiatives to promote sustainable fashion and environmental living.
The UN stated on her appointment that she wanted to ‘dedicate her efforts towards the empowerment of young women’ and ‘campaign in promoting gender equality’.
Emma has also helped launch new UK industry-wide guidelines on harassment and bullying with the British Film Institute, BAFTA, and the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and other leading bodies.
She was even invited by French President Emmanuel Macron to sit on the G7’s advisory Gender Equality Council in 2019.
But her feminist roles could be seen at being odds with the alleged behaviour of Sir Philip who has been accused of ‘touching and repeatedly slapping women staff’s bottoms’ and ‘grabbing thighs and touching legs’.
The claims were made under Parliamentary privilege by Lord Peter Hain during two debates in the House of Lords in 2018 and 2019 when he outed Sir Philip over his alleged behaviour.
While Brandon largely stays out of the public eye, his sister Chloe tends to have a higher public profile, attending showbiz parties and having dated Jeremy Meeks (above) – aka ‘the hot felon’
Sir Philip had previously used a High Court injunction to prevent the Telegraph reporting allegations against him.
It was reported that five female employees had signed gagging orders to prevent them talking about being bullied or harassed.
Sir Philip was said to have paid one of them more than £1m to keep quiet after she accused him of kissing and groping her.
A black male executive also received £1m after Sir Philip said he was ‘throwing spears in the jungle’.
Sir Philip insisted at the time that he ‘categorically and wholly’ denied any wrongdoing.
His lawyers put out a statement saying he had never committed ‘any type of crime, or anything that would amount to gross misconduct, or a serious risk to health and safety.’
The statement described him as a ‘passionate businessman, who can at times be over-exuberant and hot-headed’ and only conceded that he could be ‘perceived at times as aggressive with senior and trusted staff’.