Carroll Shelby Denies 'Wild' Sexual Assault Claim

(TMZ) 88-year-old driving legend Carroll Shelby is adamant ... he did NOT sexually assault his former receptionist, claiming her accusations are nothing but "wild and fantastical."

TMZ broke the story ... Angelica Smith filed a $5 million lawsuit against Shelby -- who famously designed the Ford Mustang Cobra -- claiming he groped her at his home and also ignored her complaints when she told him she was raped by one of his employees. Smith claims she was fired, in part, because she reported the alleged rape to Shelby.

Shelby's lawyer, M. Neil Cummings, tells TMZ, "Carroll Shelby is disappointed that such wild and fantastical allegations have been made by a former employee."

He adds, "The fact is that her position was no longer required due to Mr. Shelby's age, health and work schedule. But this apparently disgruntled former employee and her counsel have chosen to turn this into yet another prematurely publicized, frivolous lawsuit against a public figure."

Shelby's lawyer says the auto legend has "full confidence in the judicial system and believes that the truth will come out through the legal process." more on this story

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