'This is so very distressing for my family': PR to the stars Max Clifford quizzed by police insists sex case claims are 'untrue'
The PR guru described the allegations dating from 1977 as 'damaging and totally untrue'
Clifford was held as part of Operation Yewtree, the investigation into allegations of sex abuse surrounding
disgraced former DJ Jimmy SavileClifford was arrested in connection with alleged offences by 'Others' and not connected to Savile
He said the accusations were 'very distressing for myself, my wife, my family and loved ones'
23:46 GMT, 6 December 2012
PR guru Max Clifford was arrested Thursday on suspicion of sexual offences by police investigating the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal.
The noted publicist spent all day being questioned as police teams searched his 3million mansion in Surrey and his London office.
Leaving Belgravia police station in central London last night, he said: 'These allegations are damaging and totally untrue. On a personal level they are very distressing for myself, my wife, my family and loved ones.
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'Damaging and totally untrue': Max Clifford speaks outside Belgravia police station in central London on Thursday evening
Max Clifford, pictured with his second wife Jo Westwood, was arrested and then released on bail on Thursday in connection with the ongoing Operation Yewtree
'Anyone who really knew me all those years ago and those who have known me since will have no doubt that I would never act in the way that I have today been accused. I have nothing more to add.'
Asked when the allegations dated from, he replied: '1977, 35 years.’
He later confirmed there were two allegations, although it is not known whether they relate to two different people.
Sources close to Clifford, 69, said he was confident he had nothing to worry about.
He is the fifth suspect to be arrested – and sixth person to be questioned – in connection with Operation Yewtree, the police inquiry set up after late Top Of The Pops presenter Savile was exposed as a serial abuser.
There are three strands to the Yewtree operation – two involving Savile, and a third termed ‘Others’. Clifford falls into this third category, meaning he was not being questioned about anything connected to Savile.
Held on suspicion of sexual offences, Clifford said the allegations date back to 1977
British publicist Max Clifford walks out of a police station in central London on Thursday evening after being released on bail
He was arrested in a low-key operation at 7.40am, when two unmarked police cars and two white transit vans arrived at his three-storey home on an exclusive gated estate in the Surrey stockbroker belt.
Later, officers could be seen putting black bags believed to contain items from his house into the back of the vans, while flashes at the large windows suggested officers were taking photographs inside.
A neighbour who saw the cars arrive said: ‘The arrest has come as a massive shock, as he is well respected in the community. The allegations are totally out of character.’
Clifford has been a vocal commentator on the Savile scandal, and last month said a lot of old stars were worried about being dragged into the investigation because they had appeared on Top Of The Pops or Jim’ll Fix It and had merely posed for photographs with girls and Savile.
Max Clifford, seen with two of his former clients Rebecca Loos (left) and Vanessa Perroncel (right). There is no suggestion that any of his clients are in any way involved with the case
CLIFFORD'S ROLL CALL OF CLIENTS
Former clients include:
Reality TV star Rebecca Loos
Former Harrods' owner Mohamad Al-Fayed
Singer Cheryl Cole
Late reality star Jade Goody
Music mogul Simon Cowell
Singer Kerry Katona
‘It is a situation which could easily
turn into a witch-hunt; a lot of big stars are frightened,’ he told
ITV’s Daybreak. ‘Where is it going to end I hope they (the police)
concentrate on finding people like Jimmy Savile who were manipulating
He claimed at least 15 big-name stars
from the 1960s and 70s had contacted him because they had lived a
hedonistic lifestyle where young girls threw themselves at them but they
‘never asked for anybody’s birth certificate’.
Clifford has been in the business of
representing the rich and famous for 40 years, his website boasts, and
he is considered to be almost as famous as those he represents.
Clifford’s first wife, Liz, died of
cancer in 2003 and he remarried, to his former PA Jo Westwood, in 2010.
There was no sign of her yesterday. Clifford has one daughter from his
first marriage, Louise, 41.
He is the sixth suspect to be
questioned. Singer Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie Starr have
previously been arrested and bailed under Operation Yewtree in the
strand classed ‘Savile and others’.
DJ Dave Lee Travis and a man in his
70s were arrested and bailed in November as part of the operation strand
classed as ‘Others’.
A man in his 80s from Berkshire was interviewed under caution on suspicion of sexual offences not directly related to Savile.
All deny any wrongdoing.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said:
‘Officers working on Operation Yewtree have this morning arrested a man
in his 60s in connection with the investigation. The man from Surrey
was arrested at 7.40am on suspicion of sexual offences and has been
taken into a central London police station.
Police outside the home of PR guru, Max Clifford on the Burwood Estate, Hersham.
Arrest: Police outside the home of PR guru, Max Clifford, 69, on Thursday
Police searched the home of PR guru Max Clifford after he was arrested Thursday morning
Mr Clifford is scheduled to host a black tie charity dinner in aid of a children's charity next week.
90-a-head do, called 'Max Clifford reveals the secrets of the rich and
famous', is scheduled to take place at the luxurious five-star
Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa in Bagshot, Surrey, next Monday in aid of
the Caudwell Children's Charity and the Help Numan Walk Appeal.
The self-styled PR guru has been in
the business of representing the rich and famous for 40 years, his
website boasts, and he is considered to be almost as famous as those he
He was catapulted into the public eye in 1986, when he invented a story about one of his clients, Freddie Starr – who has also been arrested as part of Operation Yewtree – telling journalists that the comic had eaten a woman's hamster.
He then provided a response to the claims which created another story – garnering the comedian attention for his then upcoming tour – and later admitted it was a fabrication.
Gary Glitter has been arrested and bailed by police as part of Operation Yewtree. Police are looking into allegations against the late DJ Jimmy Savile and others
Dave Lee Travis, the former Radio 1 DJ, (left)
and comedian Freddie Starr have both been arrested and bailed as part of
a national inquiry
His former clients range from multimillionaires to reality television stars fresh out of their programmes.
Mr Clifford is the sixth suspect to be questioned after one man, in his 80s and from Berkshire, was interviewed under caution on suspicion of sexual offences.
The man in his 80s was treated as part of the investigation that does not
directly relate to Savile’s offences.
He was interviewed under caution on suspicion of sexual offences for five hours by
officers working on Operation Yewtree and police searched a Berkshire property on Saturday, November 24.
Six arrests had been
made as part of national investigation Operation Yewtree, into
alleged sexual offences by Savile and others.
Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie
Starr were arrested and bailed under Operation Yewtree in the strand
classed 'Savile and others'.
DJ Dave Lee Travis and a man in his 70s were arrested and bailed in November as
part of the operation strand classed as 'others'.
All deny any wrongdoing.
Yard is leading the inquiry and has said officers are currently dealing
with around 450 potential victims, the vast majority of whom claim they
fell prey to Savile.
Last month the force said it was dealing with around 450 potential victims, the vast majority of whom claimed they had fallen prey to Savile.
Officers are looking at three strands within their inquiry: claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others.
Veteran broadcaster Stuart Hall has protested his innocence
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