Savile's relatives speak out on abuse claims

Jimmy Savile Photo: PA Wire/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Jimmy Savile's closest relatives have broken their silence to say their "own despair and sadness does not compare to that felt by the victims" who were abused by the late TV presenter.

Savile's nephew, Roger Foster, said: "How could the person we thought we knew and loved do such a thing? Why would a man who raised so much money for charity, who gave so much of his own time and energy for others, risk it all doing indecent criminal acts? How could anyone live their life doing the 'most good and most evil' at the same time?"

The statement explains why the family wanted Savile's headstone removed, even though it had been unveiled only a couple of weeks earlier.

The family said: "We became more aware of the outrage that many members of the public were feeling. We took the decision to remove and destroy the headstone so that it couldn't become a focus for malicious people.

"The decision was a difficult one to make, but we knew it was the right one."

They family said their "thoughts" and "prayers" were with those who had suffered abuse.

"We recognise that even our own despair and sadness does not compare to that felt by the victims," they said. They said their "feelings are in turmoil" as they await the next turn of events.

Video: Savile's nephew - "evidence is devastating"