Thursday 25 May 2017

Cliff to sue BBC and police over 'abuse' raid

Cliff Richard is in morning following the death of his sister. Photo: PA Wire
Cliff Richard is in morning following the death of his sister. Photo: PA Wire

Ryan Wilkinson

Cliff Richard is suing the BBC and South Yorkshire Police for £1m (€1.2m) over live coverage of a police raid at his home.

The entertainer is understood to have launched legal action alleging there was collusion between the broadcaster and the force that led to the search appearing on television.

Officers investigating allegations of historic sex offences were filmed searching Mr Richard's apartment in Berkshire in August 2014, leading to him being publicly named as part of the probe. The 75-year-old was never arrested or charged.

The Crown Prosecution Service dismissed the case on grounds of insufficient evidence in June and both the BBC and South Yorkshire Police have apologised to the star.

However Mr Richard said the "gross intrusion" into his privacy was the result of "illegal collusion" and the resulting fallout damaged his reputation and left him physically unwell.

According to source, the £1m claim reflects damage that he suffered personally and commercially as a result of the episode.

It is understood Mr Richard developed a cough which affected his touring schedule, an album release had to be delayed, sales of his popular calendars were affected and his winery business suffered.

Lawyers are understood to have written to the BBC and South Yorkshire Police to begin the litigation process.

Irish Independent

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