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Freddie Starr loses defamation case over grope claim

Freddie Starr tried to sue the woman for slander. Credit: PA

Comedian Freddie Starr has failed in his bid to sue a woman for defamation after she claimed he groped her at a Jimmy Savile show when she was 15.

Karin Ward said Starr also "humiliated" her by calling her a "t**less wonder" in Savile's dressing room after the Clunk Click show 41 years ago.

Last month, the comic told the High Court he had never groped anyone in his life and it was untrue he had "wandering hands".

The 72-year-old said: "It just never happened. It was not in my moral compass. My moral compass will not allow me to do that."

He said he did not even remember appearing on the 1974 show but footage emerged showing him in the studio.

Ms Ward, now 56, said she was abused by her stepfather from the age of four and Starr's "extremely unpleasant" smell of alcohol and cologne reminded her of him.

She added she had performed a sex act on Savile more than once in return for going to the BBC studios to see the show.

Starr, who was not in court, now faces a costs bill unofficially estimated at about £1 million.

Speaking after the ruling, Ms Ward said she was "relieved".

"For anyone who hasn't yet dared to come forward, I say: do not take this case as a reason not to do so. Stand tall, it wasn't your fault, and you have a right to be heard without fear or threat of not being believed," she said.

"You may have had no voice and no choice when you were younger, but now you do. Don't give in to bullies."