Saturday 3 December 2016

'He just couldn't understand why he was treated in that way' - Daniel O'Donnell on Cliff Richard's sex abuse allegations

Published 26/11/2016 | 10:53

Image: The Late Late Show/RTE One
Image: The Late Late Show/RTE One
Image: The Late Late Show/RTE One

Daniel O'Donnell has said that Cliff Richard "couldn't understand" why he was treated the way he was by the media in the midst of the sexual abuse allegations made against him.

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Speaking on The Late Late Show, the singer said that Richard, who has been exonerated of all charges made against him, is "very relieved that it's all over."

"He's good. I mean, we've spoken to him and he's very relieved that it's all over obviously. I think all the way through he was confident but maybe you always have that feeling of 'what if this goes wrong?' or, you know, sometimes things don't always work out the way that they should."

"I think that Cliff, as well as all of us who knew him and are friends with him, was annoyed about how the whole thing was conducted."

Image: The Late Late Show/RTE One
Image: The Late Late Show/RTE One

"I think that it's not the actual investigation, and I think that if there's any kind of allegation it needs to be investigated, but I think the way in his case, his name was out there before there was any kind of concrete evidence at all."

Richard said his life was "effectively turned upside down" as he confirmed he was suing the BBC and South Yorkshire Police over live coverage of a police raid at his home in August 2014.

Officers investigating allegations of historic sex offences were filmed searching Sir Cliff's apartment in Berkshire, leading to him being publicly named as part of the probe. The 75-year-old was never arrested or charged.

O'Donnell said that now his friend is "just trying to move on."

"I think now, I suppose what he's trying to do, and I think it's proven to be right for him, he's just trying to move on."

"I went to one of his shows last year at Albert Hall and the amount of support that he was getting from the audience. I mean there was nothing said about anything because obviously he couldn't talk about it publicly at all, but you could feel the warmth and the support."

"I think he's just relieved now that it's over."

The singer said that there was no doubt that Richard was "shaken" by the experience, and it was "an incredible intrusion to his life."

"Even though we look at Cliff and he looks amazing and he looks so young and acts so young, but the reality is he's 75. Somewhere in all those years, I think what was in his mind was 'I've given my life entertaining people, giving enjoyment' and he just couldn't understand, I think, why he was treated in that way."

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