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  1. ITV Report

Sir Cliff Richard fears he will be 'forever tainted' by accusations

Sir Cliff Richard has told MPs and peers he fears he will be "forever tainted" after being wrongly accused of sex offences.

Credit: Press Association

The performer, who is suing the BBC and South Yorkshire Police after a raid on his home was televised live, spoke at a private meeting as part of a campaign to guarantee anonymity for suspects accused of sex crimes.

He told an audience including Lord Lloyd-Webber:

The TV circus took away from me all hope of ever being what I had been before, a confident and respected artist, and an ambassador for Great Britain.

Had I not been 'named' worldwide I feel I would still have been able to look people in the eye and not feel afraid that they might be thinking that there is 'no smoke without fire'.

Instead, I fear I will forever be tainted by the lurid and intrusive coverage I received.

I have had to bring civil proceedings to obtain redress for these appalling invasions of my privacy by the police and the BBC. But that can never undo all the damage I have suffered. It would have been so much better never to have been in this position at all.

– Sir Cliff Richard