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Comedian Freddie Starr left 'suicidal' after sex abuse inquiry

Comedian Freddie Starr has told how being investigated by police over allegations of historical sex abuse left him "suicidal".

The 72-year-old was told he would not be prosecuted after spending 18 months on bail.

He then went on to lose a damages claim against a woman for defamationafter she claimed he groped her at a Jimmy Savile show when she was 15.

Freddie Starr was told he would not be prosecuted after spending 18 months on bail. Credit: PA

Dismissing the entertainer's claims a High Court judge said Karin Ward had proved the truth of her allegations.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, he said he had moved to Spain following the ruling, which left him facing a costs bill unofficially estimated at around £1 million.

"I didn't even know how high the legal fees were until after I'd left Britain", he said.

Starr added he had not moved "to deliberately get out of paying" and had planned to move to Spain regardless of the outcome.

Freddie Starr said ill health has affected his ability to work. Credit: PA

He said Operation Yewtree - the investigation launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal - had left him at "rock bottom" and feeling "suicidal at times".

I don’t know where to turn...Most of my old showbusiness friends have forsaken me. I need help. I have no money left and I’m too ill to work. I don’t see a very pleasant future ahead of me.

– Freddie Starr

The Metropolitan Police has previously defended the record of the multi-million pound Yewtree inquiry, which has secured several high-profile convictions.

But two who were charged were not convicted and a further 10 arrested men were told no further action would be taken.