1. ITV Report

Max Clifford guilty of eight indecent assault charges

Publicist Max Clifford arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Selling sleaze and manipulating the headlines made Max Clifford rich and famous but today he was powerless to alter the guilty verdict which brands him a sex offender. The 71-year-old publicist was found guilty of 8 counts of indecent assault after a six-week trial at Southwark Crown Court.

He was cleared of 2 other counts, and the jury was unable to reach a verdict on one charge.

The court heard from a total of 13 women (seven victims, six witnesses) who claimed they had been abused by Mr Clifford or witnessed his obscene behaviour over a 20-year period.

Some of the alleged offences stretched back almost 40 years to a time which he claimed was a different era with different values. But the jury decided that the publicist had used his power and influence to force women - some just teenagers - to perform degrading acts and to sexually molest them.

The Court was told he used his connections with groups like the Beatles and stars that included Tom Jones and Diana Ross, who he met when he worked in the press office at EMI in the 1960s, to impress young women.

He went on to launch his own public relations agency and became known as the "go-to" agent when people were caught up in scandal.

Mr Clifford could sell their kiss-and-tell stories to tabloid newspapers for three-figure sums. Big names, including X Factor judge Simon Cowell, flocked to Max Clifford because he had such good contacts in the media.

But the court heard there was a much darker side to the PR man that none of his famous clients got to see. The prosecution called him "a master in the art of intimidation and manipulation" and "a sexual predatory monster".

He used a similar approach with many of his victims; they described how Clifford would invite them to his central London office, suggesting he could get them roles in films or work as models, in return for sexual favours.

1996 file photo of Publicist Max Clifford holding a news conference. Credit: PA Archive

Twice-married Clifford was also forced to listen to intimate, often humiliating, evidence about the size of his penis.

This became a central theme of his trial as some of his alleged vicitms claimed it was "tiny" and "freakishly small." Others said he was well-endowed and in the end the argument was only resolved after the jury heard evidence from his GP, who had measured it.

One of the women, who was called as a witness during the trial, has spoken to ITV News about the effect of what Mr Clifford did to her.

She was a 19-year-old model when she went to his Bond Street office in 1979 hoping to land a role in a film.

To her "shock and embarrassment" he suddenly exposed himself. She explained how he said to her "isn't it tiny" and "what use is that, what can you do with it?"

This unpleasant first meeting was followed by a phone conversation in which he claimed to be an Italian film director, asking her to reveal intimate details about the size of his penis.

The woman, who doesn't want to be named, said she still doesn't understand why he behaved in such a bizarre and upsetting way.

"He must have enjoyed playing with peopIe, playing silly games," she said.

"I can't go into his mind and tell you why he did that. All I can say is that it did happen. I'm not lying; why would I make it up?"

Like many of the women, she said nothing for many years because she feared she would not be believed.

Max Clifford arrives at Southwark Crown Court earlier in his trial. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

But in 2012 in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, she was outraged to hear Clifford saying during an interview that many of the complaints of historic sex offences were "a witch hunt".

Clifford said in court that he thought many of the women were trying to get compensation. In response she said: "I find it really offensive. There are other words like 'opportunist' and 'liar' that I also find offensive because it's actually the other way round, as far as I can see."

Now that he has been found guilty, she says she is relieved but wishes Clifford would apologise. "He didn't give it a moment's thought," she said. "These things really upset and hurt people, he could say sorry instead of calling them liars."