1. ITV Report

Max Clifford: Stars "frightened" over Savile scandal

The Jimmy Savile investigation continues Photo: Calendar

Dozens of big name stars from the 1960s and 70s have contacted Max Clifford "frightened to death" they will become implicated in the widening Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal, the PR guru has claimed.

He said the stars, some of whom are still big names today, were worried because at their peak they had lived a hedonistic lifestyle where young girls threw themselves at them but they "never asked for anybody's birth certificate".

Scotland Yard is leading the current investigation into accusations of abuse by former BBC DJ and presenter Savile, which now involve around 300 potential victims.

Officers have searched a cottage belonging to Savile in Allt na Reigh in Glencoe, Scotland, to look for "any evidence of any others being involved in any offending with him".

Speaking on London's LBC radio, Mr Clifford said "we are talking about a lot of people that were huge names in the 60s and 70s and a lot of them barely remember what they did last week, genuinely.

"For them to try and recount what happened in a dressing room in 1965 or 1968 or 1972, genuinely they are frightened to death."

He told James Whale that the investigation needed to focus on the "facilitators" who lurked on the periphery and had had years to cover their backs.

Mr Clifford added that he did not condone the men's behaviour, but that it could be understood, adding: "No one had heard the word paedophile in those days, the 60s and 70s."

Seven alleged victims of Savile made complaints to four separate police forces, Surrey, London, Sussex and Jersey, while the disgraced television presenter was alive but it was decided that no further action should be taken.

Scotland Yard said earlier this week that a retired officer had told them that he had investigated Savile in the 1980s while based in west London but did not have the evidence to proceed.

Commander Peter Spindler said he believed the allegation was of an indecent assault, possibly in a caravan on BBC premises in west London, but officers have still not found the original file.

Another allegation, of inappropriate touching dating back to the 1970s, was made by a woman in 2003, but this was treated as "intelligence" by police because the victim did not want to take action.

Surrey Police submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service containing references to four potential offences, including an allegation of indecent assault on a young girl at a children's home.

The allegations related to three potential victims in Surrey and another in Sussex, and Savile was interviewed under caution in 2009, but prosecutors decided there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.

The seventh allegation emerged in 2008 when Jersey police received a claim that an indecent assault occurred at children's home Haut de la Garenne in the 1970s.

Again it was decided that there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

Another alleged victim of Savile has complained the presenter molested her on camera during filming for Top Of The Pops.

Sylvia Edwards, 55, told The Sun Savile put his hand up her skirt at BBC Television Centre in London live on TV in 1976 when she was 19, but was told to "get lost" when she complained to staff.

Meanwhile comedian Freddie Starr has said he would be prepared to talk to officers investigating claims of abuse by Savile.

The comedian has strongly denied allegations linking him to abuse.

A spokesman for Starr released a statement saying he had been in "direct contact with the officer leading the Jimmy Savile investigation".

He added: "I asked him the direct question whether the police wished to question Mr Starr as we had heard from the Press that such questioning was imminent.

"He replied, in writing, as follows: 'We have said nothing of the sort, there has been much inaccurate speculation on such matters but should that be considered in the future I have cc'd in the SIO so he is aware of your details.'

"It would therefore appear clear that the police currently have no intention to question Mr Starr.

"Mr Starr has continually denied the allegation made by Karin Ward and we have always maintained that there is absolutely no corroborating evidence to support such wild allegation.

"The confirmation from the police today that there is no intention to question Mr Starr at present supports this."

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