Sex offence: investigation:
SIR CLIFF RICHARD was relaxing in Portugal last week after a recent charity concert at his vineyard and a radio appearance on Sunday. The singer posted a new picture of himself on his Facebook page, arms wide, smiling in the sunshine.
The smiles soon faded when his English lawyers telephoned on Wednesday. They said they had just seen extraordinarily detailed BBC coverage of a police raid on Richard’s pounds 3m apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire, relating to a historic accusation of sex abuse.
Richard was shocked. It was the first he knew of the police action and he immediately issued a vehement denial of the allegation and expressed anger at the link between the BBC and the police. “The police attended my apartment in Berkshire today without notice except, it would appear, to the press,” he said.
Richard said he had been aware of false allegations against him which had been circulating online but he had not previously wanted to dignify the claims with a response. Now, he said, the claims were “completely false”.
He is expected to return to Britain at the end of the week when he will be interviewed by police under caution but not arrested. The singer has already said he will co-operate fully with police.
The sex abuse allegation which brought the police to his home first surfaced in 2012. Mark Williams-Thomas, the former detective and now a television journalist who made the program Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, was contacted by a man in the weeks after the documentary was broadcast in October 2012.
The man, now in his forties, claimed to have been the victim of an assault by Richard in 1985 when the singer performed at a Billy Graham evangelical rally in Sheffield.
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