Cliff Richard to sue BBC over filming police raid on his Berkshire home, after sexual abuse claim

The singer has strongly denied the allegation made against him

Ella Alexander
Sunday 23 November 2014 16:32
The police have been criticised in a raid on the luxury home of Sir Cliff Richard
The police have been criticised in a raid on the luxury home of Sir Cliff Richard

Sir Cliff Richard may sue the BBC over its coverage of the police raid on his home.

The singer will seek damages for breach of privacy, if he is not charged over an allegation of historic sexual abuse, reports The Mail on Sunday.

Richard’s publicist or lawyer could not be reached when approached for comment by The Independent.

The Mail also alleges that Richard is preparing to sue South Yorkshire police, who allegedly struck a deal with the BBC to allow them to live film the raid on his Berkshire home in August.

The broadcaster dispatched a helicopter to hover over the property and had reporters stationed at the gates before police even arrived.

The musician was on holiday abroad in Portugal at the time.

Richard has strongly denied allegations that he sexually abused a man, now in his Forties, at a Christian rally in 1985. He has not been charged or arrested over the claim.

Last month, the Home Affairs Select Committee asserted that the police “handed over a great deal of information freely” and called for the force to apologise to Richard for “enormous and irreparable damage” to his reputation.

“No citizen should have to watch on live television their home being raided in this way,” read the report, which described the way in which the situation was handled as “utterly inept”.

The singer’s lawyer, Gideon Benaim, said his client had been caused “immeasurable harm” by the “premature and disproportionate” coverage.

In September, Chief Constable of South Yorkshire police, David Crompton, told the Home Affairs Select Committee that the police had been placed in a “very difficult position” by the BBC.

He claimed that the force “reluctantly agreed” to give the corporation notice of the raid “in order to dissuade the corporation from publishing details of the investigation”.

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