BBC chiefs say they were right to film the police raid at singer Sir Cliff Richard’s home and they have vowed to fight legal action being taken by the Living Doll star, who was accused of historic sexual assault.
Sir Cliff is suing the BBC for filming the raid and is calling for compensation, saying that the action led to months of misery for him before the police dropped the investigation against him.
However, the BBC’s lawyers have lodged paperwork at the High Court in London before the start of legal proceedings. They say that Sir Cliff is not entitled to any compensation from them.
Sir Cliff’s house in Berkshire was raided two years ago. The raid ws immediately made public because the BBC was in attendance. The singer is suing both the Channel and South Yorkshire Police.
Insult to injury
The singer, now 76, said that the BBC went on to add “insult to injury” by entering journalism award for the Scoop of the Year with its footage.
Sir Cliff’s lawyers say that he suffered “profound and long-lasting” damage as a result of the raid being made public. They said that he sold the property which was raided because he could no longer cope with living somewhere he felt had been publically violated.
While he has now released a new album, his lawyers said that the raid had forced him to delay the relase of his rock n roll classic and that he had run up more than £1 million in legal bills. The singer is suing for what he sees as an invasion of privacy and is seeking “very substantial damages”. It is expected that he will want to recover his legal costs as well as damages for the distress he has suffered.