Police to probe for Maddie link to paedophile MP
Clement Freud, the former broadcaster and British politician, was exposed last night as a paedophile who sexually abused girls as young as 10 for decades.
Freud, who died in 2009, spent years abusing a girl who he brought up as a daughter, and violently raped a teenager while he was an MP.
His widow, Lady Freud, has apologised to his victims, saying she is "shocked, deeply saddened and profoundly sorry" for what her husband of 58 years did to them.
Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been alerted to the fact that Freud had a villa in Praia da Luz, Portugal, the resort where the three-year-old went missing in 2007. He befriended the McCanns in the weeks after their daughter disappeared, entertaining them at his house on two occasions and keeping in contact by phone and email.
The McCanns are said to be "horrified" by the discovery that Freud was a paedophile.
His family, have said that Freud was not in Portugal at the time of Madeleine's disappearance and that they have not been contacted by police.
However, officers from Operation Grange, the ongoing Metropolitan Police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, are expected to assess the new information before deciding if it is relevant to the inquiry.
Freud was unmasked as a child sex abuser after one of his victims contacted ITV's 'Exposure' documentary team, who also broke the story of Jimmy Savile's paedophilia.
Sylvia Woosley said Freud befriended her family in 1948, in the South of France, and started abusing her when she was 10. Four years later, following a family crisis, her mother asked Freud and his wife Jill if they would look after Ms Woosley, and she found herself living under the same roof as her abuser, being brought up as a daughter.
Another woman told ITV that Freud started abusing her in the 1970s, when she was 11, and eventually raped her when she was 18, by which time he was a Liberal MP sharing an office with Cyril Smith, who was also unmasked as a paedophile after his death.
Both women's accounts have been passed on to the police.
Freud, who was knighted in 1987, was best known as a popular panellist on the BBC Radio 4 show 'Just a Minute' from 1967 until his death in 2009.
The grandson of the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and the brother of the painter Lucian Freud, he worked his way into the heart of British society.
A spokesman for the McCann family said they had not until now been aware of Freud's child abuse and were not aware that he had ever been investigated by Operation Grange.
(©Daily Telegraph, London)