Cliff Richard Demands Anonymity For Accused In Sex Offence Cases - Music News
Cliff Richard has demanded those accused of sex offences retain their anonymity as he fears his reputation will never recover from the false allegations he faced.
Cliff was publicly named as a historical sex crimes suspect in the summer of 2014 after the BBC broadcast footage of police detectives raiding his home in Berkshire, England but he was never arrested or charged, and the case was formally dropped two years later.
Speaking to Britain's Sky News at the launch of a petition demanding those accused but not formally charged with a sexual offence remain anonymous, he said he would never be able to entirely escape the episode, despite clearing his name and successfully suing the BBC and police.
"Despite no charges being brought against me and despite winning my privacy case, I'm sure there are still people who believe in that stupid adage of 'no smoke without fire,'" he told the news outlet.
Explaining why he thought those accused of offences should not have their names publicised, he added: "We find it difficult to believe that people can be evil enough to tell an absolute lie about an innocent person. That's really what we're trying to get rid of."
The 78-year-old pop veteran feared his career was over after the accusations made by four men, who claimed he had molested them as children, were publicised - but is now over the torment he felt during the aborted investigation, which was halted due to lack of evidence.
"My reputation, it seemed to me at that stage, was in absolute tatters," the Living Doll hitmaker told reporters. "Will I ever get over it? I can get past it. I am past it. I'm on tour now and I'm having the most wonderful time."
Cliff was joined at the launch of the petition by DJ Paul Gambaccini, who was also wrongly accused of committing historical sex offences, and by Monday it had gained 8,000 signatures.