Sunday 26 January 2020

Sir Cliff sues BBC and police over sex assault claims

Sir Cliff Richard was investigated following sex assault allegations
Sir Cliff Richard was investigated following sex assault allegations

Singer Sir Cliff Richard has launched legal action against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police after being investigated following sex assault allegations.

Papers have been lodged at the High Court in London.

They give little detail but show that he has sued the BBC and South Yorkshire Police.

Sir Cliff is listed as a claimant and the BBC and Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police as defendants.

The papers were filed on Thursday.

Sir Cliff was the subject of a long-running South Yorkshire Police investigation which centred on accusations dating between 1958 and 1983 made by four men.

Officers investigating allegations of historical sex offences were filmed searching his apartment in Berkshire in 2014, leading to him being publicly named as the subject of the probe.

He was never arrested or charged and his case was discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service in June on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

After the investigation was brought to a close in June, Sir Cliff said he was ''thrilled''.

He added: ''I have always maintained my innocence, co-operated fully with the investigation, and cannot understand why it has taken so long to get to this point.

''Nevertheless, I am obviously thrilled that the vile accusations and the resulting investigation have finally been brought to a close.''

A spokesman for Sir Cliff said: "We can confirm that Sir Cliff today issued legal proceedings at the High Court against both SYP and the BBC. It would not be appropriate to comment further."

A BBC spokesman said: " While we haven't received any notification of action, we've said previously we are very sorry that Sir Cliff has suffered distress but we have a duty to report on matters of public interest and we stand by our journalism."

PA Media

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