Best 'innocent of child sex attack claims'

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The Independent Online

The football legend George Best is "totally innocent" of allegations that he indecently assaulted a young girl, his agent said today.

The football legend George Best is "totally innocent" of allegations that he indecently assaulted a young girl, his agent said today.

The former Manchester United star is alleged to have attacked the girl, who is aged under 13, at an address in Surrey last month.

Best, 59, was arrested and questioned by Surrey Police last week - 9 June - before being released on bail until next month.

But today his agent Phil Hughes described the claims as "outrageous" and "totally unfounded".

"George is totally innocent," he said. "We will defend this vigorously.

"There have been so many lies printed about George that we have let slip through because you cannot sue everybody.

"(But) we will certainly be suing the people who made these allegations once we have proven his innocence."

Mr Hughes said Best was aware of the full details of the allegations against him, having been questioned over the claims last week.

But he said: "You tell me George Best has done something like this and I would say 'absolutely not'."

Mr Hughes said Best stayed with his ex-wife Alex at their former marital home in Lower Kingswood, Surrey, for a couple of days, but was now staying with his ex-lover, Ros Hollidge.

Best, who had a liver transplant after years of alcohol abuse, had been hit hard by the claims, he said, adding: "It does not help him with trying to stay off the drink.

"Today he is going to be chased round by the press wherever he goes."

Last week the former football star spent more than nine hours at a police station in Staines, being questioned about an incident when he allegedly punched a 34-year-old woman outside the home of his ex-lover, Gina Devivo, in Ewell, Surrey.

The questioning was delayed because Best had a facial injury from an incident the previous week involving his then lover, Ms Hollidge. She was cautioned by police as a result of the incident.