Jimmy Savile’s closest relatives today broke their silence over the child sex abuse allegations that have left his reputation in tatters.
Savile’s nephew, Roger Foster, told the Yorkshire Evening Post that the claims of the past month had taken a shattering toll on his family.
He also sent out a message of sympathy to those alleged to have suffered at his late uncle’s hands.
Speaking on behalf of Savile’s close family members, retired deputy headteacher Mr Foster said: “Where will it all end? Who knows? The repercussions of this scandal are enormous.
“We, as his closest family, have to endure further revelations on a daily basis. Our feelings are in turmoil as we await the next turn of events.”
Talking about Savile’s alleged victims, Mr Foster said: “We can understand their reluctance to say anything earlier and can appreciate the courage it has taken to speak out now.
“Our hearts go out to them and we offer them our sympathy and understanding in their anguish.”
Mr Foster’s comments came as it emerged police received at least SEVEN complaints against Leeds-born BBC TV and radio host Savile while he was still alive.
One investigation in the 1980s is thought to have followed a claim of indecent assault in a caravan on BBC premises in west London.
A retired police officer has told Scotland Yard the case was dropped due to a lack of evidence.
Meanwhile, ITV has pledged to investigate a claim that Savile behaved inappropriately with a young girl at its Kirkstall Road studios in Leeds.
Alan Hardwick, a former presenter on ITV’s Calendar programme, has said he saw Savile pinching the girl’s bottom.
Mr Hardwick says he raised the incident with a manager, who told him Savile was just being friendly.
Police believe Savile may have claimed 300 abuse victims over six decades.
One report yesterday said other people named as abusers to police working on the case could be arrested “within days”.
* West Yorkshire Police yesterday confirmed that in recent weeks they had received “a number of calls, some of which [made] allegations against Jimmy Savile of a sexual nature”.
The force said the claims had been referred to the Metropolitan Police, which is taking the national lead on investigations into the star.
West Yorkshire Police also confirmed they did not conduct any investigations into Savile before the current scandal.
The family statement in full:
A year ago our uncle, Sir Jimmy Savile, passed away.
It was a shock when it happened as I had only seen him the week before and although seeming under the weather, I had no concerns over his wellbeing. A week later he was dead and my cousin and I were left with the task of organising his funeral.
We were proud of him. Proud of his achievements and the help he had been able to give to others.
We knew nothing of the firestorm of allegations to come. We set out to organise the funeral knowing that he was well respected by many, many thousands of people.
We knew that the funeral was going to grow because so many people wanted to be a part of the celebration of his life.
We felt so honoured that so many wanted to remember him and mark his passing.
As time passed, the grieving process enabled us to come to terms with his death. By the time summer arrived we were getting ready for the auction of his possessions so that, as he requested in his will, the money could go to his charities. It was a great success.
We became aware of the programme that was being made with allegations of a darker side to him that we knew nothing about.
I watched the programme in horror and could not believe that these allegations were about our uncle. This wasn’t the man we knew and loved.
Like everyone else we asked the question, Why now? We couldn’t find an answer.
The allegations kept coming and were beginning to overwhelm us. Media were chasing us asking for interviews as family members.
The allegations are very serious and we began to have doubts as to our own feeling towards our uncle.
How could the person we thought we knew and loved do such a thing?
Why would a man who raised so much money for charity, who gave so much of his own time and energy for others risk it all doing indecent criminal acts? How could anyone live their life doing the ‘most good and most evil’ at the same time?
We became more aware of the outrage that many members of the public were feeling.
We began to think that his headstone, which we had only unveiled a couple of weeks earlier could become a target for people wishing to show there emotions. The dignity of the cemetery, the people who are buried there and the relatives who tend the graves had to be respected. We took the decision to remove and destroy the headstone so that it couldn’t become a focus for malicious people.
The decision was a difficult one to make but we knew it was the right one.
A vilification of his name, his achievements and everything he stood for followed. People are moving as quickly as possible to disassociate themselves from him.
His charities, which he was so proud of, debated the prospect of removing his name from their title.
The trustees have since decided that this wasn’t enough and that the charities will have to be wound up and the monies given to other charities working in a similar field.
Records of all his efforts and the good work he had done, have been, or are in the process of being removed.
We recognise that even our own despair and sadness does not compare to that felt by the victims.
Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have suffered from every kind of abuse over so many years and we offer our deepest sympathy in what must have been a terrible time for all of them.
We can understand their reluctance to say anything earlier and can appreciate the courage it has taken to speak out now.
Our hearts go out to them and we offer them our sympathy and understanding in their anguish.
Where will it all end? Who knows? The repercussions of this scandal are enormous. We, as his closest family, have to endure further revelations on a daily basis. Our feelings are in turmoil as we await the next turn of events.