Emma Watson has formed a close friendship with the son of controversial tycoon Sir Philip Green, MailOnline can reveal.
Known for her “wakeful” views on gender equality, the Harry Potter actress has grown close to 28-year-old Brandon Green, according to friends.
Emma was pictured with Brandon earlier this month as they got off a helicopter together in Battersea, west London.
She has grown close to Brandon after she secretly split from businessman Leo Robinton, 31, earlier this year after two years together.
Emma Watson was photographed with Sir Philip Green’s son Brandon on September 2 as they landed in Battersea by private helicopter
Friends of the couple say the left-wing eco-warrior actress has struck up an unlikely friendship with the tycoon who spends time on his family’s superyacht in Monaco
Friends of the unlikely pair say Emma (left) Brandon (right) is ‘into’, but they’ve been keeping their blossoming friendship a secret for several months
Brandon Green (right) is close to his father Sir Philip and runs some of his retail business, although Brandon tends to stay out of the limelight more than his sister Chloe (left)
Friends say they are shocked by the blossoming relationship because the left-wing actress and Brandon form an unlikely combination.
Brandon is the son of British billionaire Sir Philip, former owner of BHS and owner of Topshop which for two decades was one of the UK’s most controversial and colorful retailers. Brandon now runs an arm of his father’s empire.
Sir Philip’s fortunes have fallen in recent years with the collapse of his Arcadia group in November with the closing of 500 stores and 13,000 jobs.
The businessman, 69, also faced charges 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 grown closer with Brandon since May while keeping their relationship a secret.
The friend said, “Brandon courted Emma over the summer. She is in love with him, but has kept it a secret because no one knows that Leo has cooled off.
“She spends a lot of time with Brandon. He is very nice to her and she enjoys his company. We’re surprised no one realized they were together. Brandon and Leo look alike. She certainly has a type.’
Brandon was spotted with his mother Tina on holiday in the French Riviera earlier this summer
Brandon, who was basking in the sun on his family’s boat in July, has been courting Emma all summer, according to friends, who say Emma quietly said goodbye to her boyfriend in May.
Brandon has always had a lower profile than his sister Chloe, 30, who made headlines for her relationship with American model and convicted felon Jeremy Meeks – aka “the hot felon” – who is the father of her child.
But Sir Philip’s son and his wife Tina have also enjoyed a billionaire lifestyle since childhood and have lived for years with his parents and sister in the tax haven of Monaco.
No one seemed to notice that Brandon was with Emma when she landed on September 2nd
Known for his muscular physique and love of sports, Brandon has been regularly photographed relaxing on his family’s £100 million superyacht Lionheart.
Sir Philip reportedly spent £4 million in 2005 on a bar mitzvah party for his son 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 an executive director who has overseen digital transformation and technology for his father’s Arcadia fashion store since 2014.
Emma rose to fame as a child in 2001, playing Hermione in JK Rowling’s film adaptation of 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 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 parted ways with businessman Leo Robinton earlier this year (above)
But while she made her fortune from acting, in recent years she has also devoted time to activism and fighting for women’s rights.
Emma was appointed UN Ambassador for Women’s Goodwill in July 2014 and has participated in initiatives to promote sustainable fashion and eco-friendly living.
The UN stated in her nomination that it wanted to “dedicate its efforts to the empowerment of young women” and “campaign to promote gender equality”.
Emma also helped launch new UK industry-wide guidelines on harassment and bullying with the British Film Institute, BAFTA and the Advisory, Reconciliation and Arbitration Service and other leading bodies.
She was even invited by French President Emmanuel Macron to serve on the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council in 2019.
But her feminist roles ran counter to the alleged behavior of Sir Philip, who was accused of “touching women’s buttocks and hitting them repeatedly” and “grabbing thighs and touching legs.”
The allegations were made under parliamentary privilege by Lord Peter Hain during two House of Lords debates in 2018 and 2019, when he spoke to Sir Philip about his alleged behaviour.
While Brandon remains largely out of the public eye, his sister Chloe tends to have a higher public profile, attend showbiz parties and go out with Jeremy Meeks (above) – aka ‘the hot thug’
Sir Philip had previously used a Supreme Court order to prevent the Telegraph from reporting charges against him.
It was reported that five female employees had signed gagging to avoid talking about being bullied or harassed.
Sir Philip is said to have paid one of them more than £1 million to remain silent after accusing him of kissing and groping her.
A black male director also received £1 million after Sir Philip said he was ‘throwing spears in the jungle’.
Sir Philip insisted at the time that he “categorically and completely” denied any allegation.
His lawyers issued a statement saying that he had never “committed any 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 be too effusive and hot-headed at times” and admitted only that he “could be seen as aggressive towards senior and trusted staff at times.”