British singer Cliff Richard won a lawsuit against the BBC on Wednesday for violation of his private life and will receive 210,000 pounds (240,000 euros) in damages, according to EFE. The 77-year-old singer, nicknamed the British Elvis, attacked the BBC for broadcasting live footage from a helicopter of police searching his Berkshire home in August 2014. The search was part of an investigation into an alleged assault. sexual assault against a minor from whom he was ultimately exonerated.
The judge of the High Court of London considered that the BBC had violated “seriously” the right to the privacy of the singer “in a sensational way”. The BBC, for its part, regretted in a statement a ruling “contrary to freedom of the press and the ability of journalists to report on police investigations,” and said it is considering appealing.
“I am speechless, I can not believe it. It is magnificent news,” said the singer. Richard, who sold nearly 250 million records worldwide, was suspected of having committed sexual assaults on a child in the 1980s. The accusations followed the case of Jimmy Savile, a late television star who is he suspects that for years he committed hundreds of sexual abuse of minors.
The sentence has come almost four years after what the interpreter of Congratulions described, at the time, as the worst nightmare of his life. A bad dream that began on August 14, 2014, when the musician, who is now 77 years old, witnessed on television from his home in the Algarve, in Portugal, how the police searched his Berkshire mansion, in England. The reason: alleged sexual abuse of a minor dating back to the 1980s.
It took more than 22 months for the news that he had waited for since that day to arrive: after studying the evidence, the prosecution had chosen not to press charges. Then Richard decided to break a silence of almost two years and gave an interview to Gloria Hunniford, a close friend of his, in which he describes that August as “the darkest and deepest hole I have ever been in.” “I cried on my knees in my kitchen, inconsolable,” said the singer.
The BBC’s live coverage of the raid, helicopters included, aroused misgivings from the start. The suspicions were more than founded; A subsequent investigation determined that after journalist Dan Johnson received a tip about Richard, the police agreed to share the details of the search with the network so they would have front-row seats. In return, the BBC promised to delay the release of the news until then. Although both apologized to Richard, on July 10, 2016 Richard issued a statement in which he announced legal action based on the damage to his reputation and health that had been reported in the news that he said there could be no evidence because it was something that never happened.