Sir Cliff Richard re-questioned by police over 1980s sex crime claim

Nov 6, 2015

Singer and entertainer met up with police 'voluntarily' according to his spokesman

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Sir Cliff Richard has been re-interviewed by South Yorkshire police over claims he committed a sex crime involving a young boy in the 1980s, his spokesman has claimed.

The singer and entertainer had previously been questioned over the offence under caution last year but was not arrested or charged.

Now it has emerged that Richard has been interviewed by police a second time over the incident.

"Sir Cliff Richard voluntarily met with and was interviewed by members of South Yorkshire police. He was not arrested or charged, nor has he ever been," his spokesman said.

"He cooperated fully with officers and answered the questions put to him. Other than restating that the allegations are completely false and that he will continue to cooperate fully with the police, it would not be appropriate for Sir Cliff to say anything further at this time."

The Guardian notes that the news follows reports earlier this year that the investigation into the 75-year-old singer has expanded to look into more than one allegation.

"The chief constable of South Yorkshire police, David Crompton, said in a letter to Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs select committee, that detectives were involved in a growing inquiry into allegations against the singer, who denied all wrongdoing," the paper claims.

The Independent reports that following the publication of the letter, the veteran entertainer's lawyers roundly criticised the home affairs select committee, saying its disclosure "caused him a further round of unnecessary and extremely damaging media coverage".

Since the allegations first emerged, Richard has continued to profess his innocence, saying that the claims against him were "absurd and untrue" and he had "never, in my life, assaulted anyone".

Cliff Richard: police drop one of three inquiries, claims friend

21 September

Police have dropped one of the three investigations into alleged sex abuse by Sir Cliff Richard, according to reports.

The singer provided the police with evidence that he was never alone on the days when two men allege he attacked them in separate incidents in the 1980s, an unnamed friend told The Sunday Times.

The evidence appears to refute claims that Richard assaulted a 15-year-old at a Billy Graham rally in Sheffield in 1985 and another alleged victim who said he took part in the making of a music video with the star in 1981.

Richard, who has not been arrested or charged, is yet to comment, while South Yorkshire Police said it "won't be providing a running commentary on the investigation".  The force added that "the inquiry continues and inquiries are ongoing".

The singer's home in Sunningdale, Berkshire, was searched by police in August last year while he was away in Portugal, with footage of the raid broadcast live on the BBC.

The Sunday Times points out that seven celebrities, including Freddie Starr and Paul Gambaccini, have been exonerated after facing historical abuse accusations under the overarching police inquiry Operation Yewtree.

The singer, who has vehemently denied the claims and called them "absurd", is preparing for a UK concert tour to mark his 75th birthday culminating in five nights at the Royal Albert Hall.

Cliff Richard to sell homes searched by Yewtree police

21 May

Sir Cliff Richard has put his Berkshire home on the market for £4.75 million, nine months after police were filmed searching the property in connection to an allegation of sexual assault.  

The 74 year-old star watched from his holiday home in the Algarve as South Yorkshire police entered the mansion where he has lived since 2008, while BBC helicopters provided rolling coverage of the raid.

Cilla Black, a long-term friend of Richard, said that the experience has left him haunted and unable to continue living in the house.

"It's the saddest thing for him, but he had to do it," Black, 71, told the Daily Telegraph. "Cliff is not all right, not at all. He will never, ever go back there again. I don't blame him."

The search was carried out in conjunction with an allegation that the singer sexually assaulted a 16-year-old boy at a Christian rally organised by the American evangelical Billy Graham in Sheffield in 1985. Richard denies any involvement.

South Yorkshire police came under fire over the controversial deal with the BBC, which allowed the broadcaster to film the search as it took place. In return, the BBC agreed to hold back a news item revealing that an allegation of historic sex abuse by Richard was being investigated as part of Operation Yewtree until after the raid.

In defence of the arrangement, the force claimed that it feared that crucial evidence might be compromised or lost if the allegation was made public before the police search could be carried out.

Nevertheless, a report compiled by former chief constable Andy Trotter questioned the justification for the deal, saying that it was unlikely that the BBC would have run such a story without police co-operation. Trotter also found that the force had caused 'unnecessary distress' to Richard and that the star 'should not have been informed of the allegations through the media'.

Earlier this year, it was announced that the inquiry surrounding the former rock and roll star had increased "significantly" and now involved multiple allegations. Richard has been interviewed by police, but no formal charges have been brought against him. He continues to maintain that any accusations of sexual misconduct are "absurd and untrue".

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