Sunday 24 September 2017

Rantzen 'heard only rumours'

CHILDLINE founder and former BBC presenter Esther Rantzen has responded to reports that she had been alerted to Jimmy Savile's abuse of children.

Ms Rantzen was adamant that she had heard only rumours and therefore said nothing at the time because "a rumour is not evidence".

She added: "There has never been a child that has reported abuse to me that I have not taken action to protect."

The newspaper claimed she had been told of rumours about Savile's abuse 18 years ago by campaigner Shy Keenan.

But the veteran broadcaster said she could not recall a conversation with Ms Keenan and that, while she heard rumours about Savile's behaviour, she never heard or saw any evidence, and would have acted upon it if she had.

Ms Rantzen said: "I don't mean any disrespect to the lady but I don't remember any conversation with her. I have had a great many conversations with people over the years and whenever possible I have investigated what people told me and told the police and social services.

"I never heard anything from a child or from anyone who worked with him. The rumours I heard were from people who never met him and they could have easily been as false as they were true.

"The lady only had rumours to go on. She did not have any evidence. I hope if she did have evidence that she would tell the authorities."

Irish Independent

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