Yewtree

Published on November 2nd, 2012 | by admin

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Max Clifford warns Jimmy Savile child abuse probe could “easily turn into a witch hunt”

Mr Clifford says old stars are worried about being dragged into probe because they appeared on Top Of The Pops or Jim’ll Fix It and merely posed for photographs with girls and Savile

Mr Clifford said that a lot of old stars were worried about being dragged into the investigation because they had appeared on Top Of The Pops or Jim’ll Fix It and merely posed for photographs with girls and Savile.

He told Daybreak: “It is a situation which could easily turn into a witch hunt, a lot of big stars are frightened.

“Where is it going to end?

“I hope they (the police) concentrate on finding people like Jimmy Savile who were manipulating girls.”

His comments came hours after Freddie Starr was released on police bail early after being quizzed for up to seven hours on suspicion of sex offences.

The comedian had been held at a police station near his Warwickshire home after being arrested at 5.45pm by Metropolitan Police .

He was released between 1am and 1.30am pending further inquiries by detectives from Operation Yewtree – the Scotland Yard unit probing alleged abuse by Jimmy Savile and others.

Starr, 69, will be informed later of a date when he has to return to police.

He has strenuously denied any wrongdoing and last month branded Savile “despicable” and “disgusting”, while urging police to interview him so he could clear his name.

His arrest yesterday afternoon follows claims by Karin Ward, 52, that the comic groped her when she was 14.

Freddie Starr and fiancee Sophie Lea

Fierce denial: Freddie and fiancee Sophie

She alleged that Starr indecently assaulted her in Savile’s BBC dressing room in West London in 1974 after an episode of Savile’s show Clunk Click was filmed.

It is unclear if the arrest is in connection with Ms Ward’s allegations.

Scouser Starr, who lives in Studley, Warwickshire, has furiously denied the claims, adding that he wanted to be able to give police his side of the story.

He said recently: “I have said from the word go that I wanted to be interviewed.

“I have always said I wanted to be interviewed. I have got the press phoning me up to ask if I have been interviewed. I got sick of it.

“Everybody – the press, police people at the BBC – knew things were going on with Jimmy Savile.

“Everybody is guilty of this. You can put the finger on everybody at the BBC.”

Police officer outside Freddie Starr home in Mappleborough Green, West Midlands

Shock: Sophie last night. Starr’s fiancee, Sophie Lea, 34, claimed the stress of the accusations have led to the comedian fearing for his health.

Shock: Sophie last night

Speaking at their home last month, Sophie said: “We are devastated by the allegations. Freddie has suffered heart palpitations. He’s in bed and won’t be going out for the rest of the week.”

When singer Sophie appeared on ITV show This Morning, she responded to questions about the abuse claims by saying: “It’s absolutely nonsense. I’ve known Freddie for a long time.

“When I was working with him on stage never once did he make any advances towards me. He’d never grope a girl or a woman.”

Sophie, who is pregnant with Starr’s fifth child, added: “He had a quadruple bypass last year and this kind of stress is not good.”

Exposure: The other side of Jimmy Savile

Accusations: Karin Ward

Starr’s spokeswoman said last week: “Freddie is prepared to be interviewed by the police, but his lawyer has been in touch with the person heading the investigation and they have no intention of questioning him.”

Starr’s arrest is the second Operation Yewtree arrest, coming days after former pop star Gary Glitter was held for ­questioning.

Convicted paedophile Glitter, 68, real name Paul Gadd, was arrested and bailed on Sunday.

It has been claimed Glitter and Savile abused girls in the dressing room after the Clunk Click show.

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