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Celebrity publicist Max Clifford says sex allegations are "distressing"

posted 7 Dec 2012, 05:32 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 7 Dec 2012, 05:33 ]

Celebrity publicist Max Clifford says sex offence allegations against him are "distressing" and "without foundation."

WALTON ON THAMES, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (DECEMBER 7, 2012) (ITN) - Britain's highest-profile celebrity publicist Max Clifford reiterated on Friday (December 7) his stance that sex allegations against him are untrue.

Clifford was greeted by numerous news reporters and camera crews as he was driven by Rolls Royce from his home in Walton on Thames in the English county of Surrey.

When asked how the past 24 hours had been, Clifford said: "Not very nice as you'd imagine, very distressing and also for my family, for my wife Jo and my daughter Louisefor everyone that knows me and cares it's a horrible experience but you have to face up to these things."

Clifford, 69, was arrested for alleged sex crimes on Thursday (December 6) by a special unit set up by London's Metropolitan Police in the wake of an abuse scandal involving a former BBC TV star, his lawyer said.

Clifford made his name and fortune helping some of Britain's most famous people defend and shape their reputations in the country's muckraking tabloid press and has been a longstanding media pundit on celebrity scandal and the press.

He is the fifth person to be arrested since police launched an extensive inquiry into sex crime allegations against the late Jimmy Savile, a high-profile BBC star in the 1970s and 80s.

Clifford declined to give a detailed description of the police allegations when asked by reporters.

"All I can say is that they're totally without any foundation and they're totally without any foundation and they're totally untrue and I think one was in '77 and one was a few years afterwards. Different, but totally without any foundation at all," he said.

Clifford's arrest was part of an investigation into Savile, who detectives say was one of Britain's most prolific child sex offenders.

Police are looking into more than 200 allegations of assault and have heard from more than 500 victims.

Police are looking into three categories of alleged offences: those involving only Savile, which make up the majority of cases; those involving Savile and others; and those which had no direct link to Savile.

Clifford's arrest is part of the third strand.

Some of Savile's alleged victims said they were abused on BBC premises at the height of his fame and the fallout from the revelations has thrown the publicly funded broadcaster into turmoil, forcing its director general to resign.

The other people arrested include former glam-rock singer Gary Glitter, who is already a convicted sex offender, and comedian Freddie Starr, both of whom deny any wrongdoing. Police have questioned a fifth man who is in his 80s.