Cliff Richard to sue BBC, police over house raid

Updated: Nov 24, 2014, 08:46 IST | PTI |

Singer Cliff Richard is considering taking legal action over the televised raid on his home

London: Singer Cliff Richard is considering taking legal action over the televised raid on his home.

Cliff Richard
Cliff Richard 

The 74-year-old singer's Berkshire home was searched in August by police investigating allegations of sexual abuse.

South Yorkshire Police allowed the BBC to broadcast searches of his home live on television, a move which was condemned as "utterly inept" by MPs.

Richard is now preparing to sue the BBC for breach of privacy and is also considering legal action against South Yorkshire Police, reported Telegraph online.

It follows a report by the Home Affairs Select Committee last month which said a senior officer in the South Yorkshire force believed a BBC reporter had "blackmailed" it into granting the Corporation exclusive access.

The Committee said South Yorkshire Police should apologise to the entertainer for the "enormous and irreparable damage" caused to his reputation.

The report also criticised the BBC's "misleading" reporting of the police search at Richard's home in Sunningdale, Berkshire, on August 14.

The Corporation broadcast live from outside the building, including aerial pictures from a helicopter, and a reporter suggested their presence at the scene was a "deliberate attempt by police to ensure maximum coverage".

Police were investigating an allegation that Richard, whose singing career spans six decades, sexually assaulted a young boy when performing at a Christian rally organised by Billy Graham, the American evangelist, in 1985.

Richard has not been arrested or charged and has dismissed the allegations as "completely false".

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