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Sir Cliff Richard has dismissed a sex crime claim involving a young boy in the 1980s as "completely false".
The pop legend hit out as police carried a five-hour search of his Berkshire penthouse apartment, saying he had seen allegations circulating online for months but had chosen not to "dignify" them with a response.
Sir Cliff, 73, is not currently in the UK but pledged to co-operate with the inquiry, which concerns an alleged assault claimed to have taken place at an appearance by American evangelist Billy Graham in Sheffield in 1985.
It is understood that lawyers for the singer, who is believed to be in Portugal, have been in contact with South Yorkshire Police, who are carrying out the inquiry.
The investigation is not connected to Scotland Yard's high-profile sex crime probe Operation Yewtree, which was launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal.
In a statement, Sir Cliff said: "The allegations are completely false. Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen.
"However, the police attended my apartment in Berkshire today without notice, except it would appear to the press.
"I am not presently in the UK but it goes without saying that I will co-operate fully should the police wish to speak to me.
"Beyond stating that today's allegation is completely false it would not be appropriate to say anything further until the police investigation has concluded."
Sir Cliff Richard's property in Sunningdale, Berkshire, is being searched by police, it has been reported. The search is said to be in connection with an alleged historical sexual offence. It follows an allegation involving a boy under 16, from the South Yorkshire area in the 1980s. The search is not believed to be connected to Operation Yewtree. More to follow.