Jan Gaye
Jan Gaye was married to the legendary soul singer from 1977-1981Getty

Jan Gaye, the ex-wife of the late singer Marvin Gaye, has made sensational allegations of sexual assault against Hollywood actor Ryan O'Neal.

In her forthcoming autobiography After The Dance. My Life With Marvin Gaye, the mother-of-two recalls the day that the star, famous for his role in the Oscar winning movie Love Story, allegedly approached her and the Got To Give It Up hitmaker at a Beverly Hills restaurant. He had been having lunch with Candice Bergen, she claimed.

Describing the alleged encounter, the 59-year-old said that O'Neal "made his move with great subtlety" as her husband looked on unaware.

"He arrived at our table and shook hands with Marvin, who introduced him to me," she said. "I was thrilled."

"The thrill took a different turn though when O'Neal stood behind my chair and pressed himself against my neck that was covered over by my long, wild hair," she claimed. "He made his move with great subtlety, but there was no mistaking the feel of his penis against my neck."

Although she acknowledged that O'Neal was "an incredibly handsome movie star", she said she hadn't expected the alleged move and didn't know how to deal with it.

"As he spoke with Marvin, he kept pressing ever so slightly. I had a funny smile on my face. I didn't know what to say or do. So I did nothing. When he left, I didn't share the experience with Marvin. I was afraid it would only lead to a fight."

But O'Neal denied the allegations, insisting that he had "never met the woman".

The claims come months after a federal court awarded Marvin Gaye's estate and his three children nearly $7.4m (£4.9m) in damages after ruling that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke had plagiarised the late Motown legend's chart-topper Got To Give It Up for their 2013 smash hit Blurred Lines.

During months of litigation, Gaye's heirs claimed that part of his 1977 hit were lifted and Thicke testified that he was not present when the song was written, even though he received credit.

No charges have been brought against O'Neal, nor proved, following the allegations. IBTimes UK has contacted the actor for a comment and is awaiting a reply.