Director General Tony Hall said BBC journalists "acted appropriately" in their coverage of the police raid on Cliff Richard's flat following sexual assault allegations.
The raid on the pop star's penthouse caused controversy when the corporation broke news of the search, with a film crew reportedly arriving on the scene before the police.
In a letter to Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz MP, Mr Hall said: "I believe that BBC journalists have acted appropriately in pursuing this story. As you rightly say, the media has a right to report on matters of public interest.
"Sir Cliff Richard is one of the most successful British entertainers of all time and has been a prominent public figure for several decades. Investigations into historic sex abuse cases have - and will continue to have - a profound impact on the lives of well-known individuals and the standing of public institutions.
"The disclosure of a sex abuse allegation against Sir Cliff Richard and the police search of his property was clearly a significant story and the BBC was not alone in providing extensive coverage."
More top news
The parents of a missing 15-year-old girl have asked their daughter to come home in a statement released alongside Avon and Somerset Police.
For an 11 year old Syrian boy named Saleh, courage comes in learning to ride his new bike again.
A misty and cloudy night should keep frost away for most of the UK, with some spells of rain overnight.