Sir Cliff Richard criticises BBC over raid footage

Lula Sharp
April 15, 2018

He added that the singer felt a BBC statement in May past year was "designed to take the sheen off" the settlement and to "undermine the police apology" to him.

BBC editors have said they will "defend ourselves vigorously" and in court blamed South Yorkshire Police, saying the force is attempting to "shoot its messenger".

The BBC disputes the singer's claims.

The BBC says its coverage of the police raid was accurate and in good faith.

A barrister leading Sir Cliff's legal team told Mr Justice Mann that BBC coverage of the raid, which occurred while he was overseas, was a "very serious invasion" of privacy, and had a "prolonged impact" on Sir Cliff.

"It was shocking and upsetting", he said in his witness statement.

The star also said: "My health suffered, both mentally and physically". "I actually thought I was going to have a heart attack or stroke".

Sir Cliff is due to give evidence on Friday.

"I felt as though everything I had worked for during my life - trying to live as honestly and honourably as I could - was being torn apart", he said.

'I felt forever tainted.

'I don't recall exactly which channel it was, but I could see the police going through the drawers in one of the rooms of my apartment, ' he said.

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Sir Cliff was questioned about the alleged assault but never arrested or charged.

He said the prolonged wait to look out out no movement might be taken "in no way felt correct the least bit".

"I'd wake up in the middle of the night, going over things in my head again and again".

Sir Cliff Richard has been paid more than $1.35 million (NZ) by police after they tipped off the BBC about an investigation into alleged historic sex offences, it emerged as he began legal action against the corporation, which could result in multi-million pound payouts.

A BBC spokesman has said the BBC reported Sir Cliff's "full denial of the allegations at every stage".

It also emerged that when South Yorkshire Police settled the allegations against them they agreed to pay Sir Cliff $770,000 as well as his legal fees.

Sir Cliff denied the allegation and in June 2016 prosecutors announced that he would face no charges.

Mr Rushbrooke QC argued that Sir Cliff - who has only been outsold by The Beatles and Elvis in the United Kingdom - "was subjected to media intrusion that no citizen should ever have to experience".

Barrister Justin Rushbrooke QC, who is leading the team of lawyers, told the judge in a written statement: 'It is hard to encapsulate in word the sense of panic and powerlessness that must have been induced in him on 14 August 2014 when he realised that the BBC were relaying instantaneously and indiscriminately around the world highly sensitive and damaging information concerning himself - all based upon an allegation of serious criminal conduct which he knew to be entirely false'.

He added: "It wasn't a very pleasant feeling and by that time I had heard of the allegation and seeing it made me feel even worse".

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