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Former publicist Max Clifford due to stand trial in the new year accused of indecently assaulting girl (17)

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Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of a custody photograph of Max Clifford

Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of a custody photograph of Max Clifford

Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of a custody photograph of Max Clifford

Former publicist to the stars Max Clifford is due to stand trial in the new year accused of indecently assaulting a 17-year-old girl.

The 72-year-old is charged with committing the offence between October 1981 and May 1982 at his Mayfair offices in New Bond Street.

Dressed in a white shirt, balding Clifford appeared at Southwark Crown Court via video link and could be seen gesturing how he had combed his hair forwards.

He spoke only to confirm his identity, saying: "Yes, I am. Yes, I am."

Clifford, of Hersham, Surrey represented some of the biggest names in showbusiness - including pop mogul Simon Cowell, late reality TV star Jade Goody and boxer Muhammad Ali - in a career that spanned more than 40 years.

He became famous for brokering deals with the tabloids for kiss-and-tell stories and was behind the tale that spawned the infamous headline Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster.

Clifford was arrested as part of the Met's Operation Yewtree, the probe set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

He will next appear at the same court on October 19 for a plea hearing.

A trial date has been set for February 1 2016, and is expected to last around a week.

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