Cliff Richard has launched legal action against the BBC and South Yorkshire police following the live broadcast of a raid by officers on his home over historical sexual abuse allegations.
Sir Cliff said: “In the absence of satisfactory answers, a court will determine whether or not their behaviour was justified and proportionate. I would not want the same to happen to others whether in the public eye or not.”
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The singer was told by police last month that there would be not be any charges and the investigation had been dropped.
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However the BBC director general Tony Hall has stood by the corporation’s controversial coverage of a police raid on the singers home, saying he was sorry for the distress that had been caused to Richard but adding that the BBC was right to report a matter which was of public interest.
The Guardian reports:
Police raided Richard’s Berkshire home in August 2014 over historical sex abuse allegations. The BBC broadcast images from BBC cameras with a helicopter hovering over his property.
The singer was told by police last month that there would be no charges and the investigation had been dropped.
Hall said: “Sir Cliff is a fabulous entertainer who has done great things for the BBC over many years. We said sorry for the distress he has been caused over the last couple of years.
“If the police are investigating a matter which is of public interest and concern then we should report that, not just us but all our colleagues in the broadcast media and newspapers as well.”
It was revealed at the weekend that Richard was launching a £1m legal action against the BBC and the South Yorkshire force.
He said: “My life was effectively turned upside down, and my reputation, worldwide, was unnecessarily damaged.”
Richard added: “In the absence of satisfactory answers, a court will determine whether or not their behaviour was justified and proportionate. I would not want the same to happen to others whether in the public eye or not.”
Hall confirmed: “Yes we have received a letter and will respond to that in due course.”
He said he had appeared before MPs on the parliamentary home affairs committee who had concluded the BBC had done nothing wrong in its decision to run the story.
“It reviewed our decisions and said we see nothing wrong in the BBC’s decision to run the story and I think that’s right,” he added.
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