Sunday 18 March 2018

Cliff 'won't go back to raid home'

Cilla Black and Cliff Richard pictured at the Wimbledon Championships last year
Cilla Black and Cliff Richard pictured at the Wimbledon Championships last year

Sir Cliff Richard has put his UK home up for sale and has vowed never to return after it was raided by police, according to his friend, entertainer Cilla Black.

Black told the Mail the singer decided to put his Berkshire apartment on the market in the wake of the raid, which drew criticism as a BBC crew was on hand to film the police activity.

Officers entered the gated estate while Sir Cliff was at another property in Barbados, during an investigation into an alleged assault at a religious event in 1985.

Sir Cliff has strongly denied any wrongdoing and has not been arrested or charged.

Black told the paper: "Cliff told me he's just put the flat on the market. It's the saddest thing for him, but he had to do it. He said he never wants to live there again. It's awful. Cliff is not all right, not at all.

"He doesn't want to go back there because he's worried this is still hanging over him. When the police raided it was an invasion of his privacy. I can't even advise him because - my God - though I've been through a lot, this is outside my experience. He will never, ever go back there again. I don't blame him."

In February, South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton revealed the investigation into Sir Cliff, 74, had "increased significantly in size" and involves "more than one allegation".

Sir Cliff said the claims against him were "absurd and untrue" and he had "never, in my life, assaulted anyone".

The singer was interviewed under caution last year by detectives investigating a claim of a sex crime involving a young boy in the 1980s.

The BBC and the force were criticised for striking a deal over live coverage of the raid, which an independent report found had "interfered with his privacy and may well have caused unnecessary distress".

A four-bedroom flat at the Charters estate, in Sunninghill, Ascot, was listed on property website Rightmove for £4.75m on May 17.

It is described as "a magnificent triplex apartment converted from one whole wing of a 1930s Grade II-listed country house" and includes security gates, a library, four bathrooms, a bar and a spa containing a 50ft swimming pool, gym and treatment rooms.

Press Association

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