Cliff Richard suffered ‘profound damage’ after sex offence claims

Cliff RichardImage copyright

Sir Cliff Richard suffered “profound and long-lasting” damage after being publicly named as a suspected sex offender, his lawyers have said.

Sir Cliff is suing the BBC and South Yorkshire Police following publicity about a 2014 police raid at his home.

The 76-year-old was investigated over historical sexual assault allegations, which he always denied, before the CPS dropped its case in June.

Details of his complaints have emerged in paperwork lodged at the High Court.

‘Insult to injury’

The decision to sue the BBC and South Yorkshire Police comes after Sir Cliff was the subject of a long-running police investigation based on allegations dating between 1958 and 1983 made by four men.

A raid on his apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire, was broadcast live by the BBC in 2014.

The story was subsequently entered into “scoop of the year” at the Royal Television Society awards – something Sir Cliff described in paperwork as “adding insult to injury”.

The CPS announced it was taking no further action against Sir Cliff on 16 June because there was insufficient evidence.

Sir Cliff alleges that his privacy was invaded and wants “very substantial” damages.

Lawyers said he has since sold the raided apartment because the prospect of living somewhere that had been “so publicly violated” distressed him.

South Yorkshire Police said it had apologised to the singer for the “distress and anxiety” it had caused him.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “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.”

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