Police confirmed last night that Sir Jimmy Savile had been interviewed under caution over alleged child abuse.
But Surrey Police took no further action on advice from prosecution lawyers who decided they had ‘insufficient evidence’ to gain a conviction over the allegations dating to the 1970s.
The Leeds-born star was questioned in 2007, in connection with an alleged indecent assault on an under-age girl, who was a pupil at an Essex girls school and will feature in an ITV documentary to be screened tomorrow. (October 3)
That programme will feature a series of women who claim they were subjected to abuse, and in one case rape, by the former disc jockey.
The force clarified details of its involvement with the charity fundraiser as a string of celebrities spoke out against the star, including former BBC stablemate Paul Gambaccini, Childline supporter Esther Rantzen and Louis Theroux, who made a documentary about the star.
Relatives of Sir Jim have said they are “disappointed and disgusted” at the allegations as he cannot defend himself.
Programme makers say they have conducted an in-depth investigation into long-standing allegations of serious and widespread sexual misconduct by the Jim’ll Fix It hero.
Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini claimed Sir Jimmy used his charity work to prevent his private life being exposed. He said his former Radio 1 colleague played tabloid newspapers “like a Stradivarius” to keep any allegations at bay.
ITV’s Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, presented by former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, outlines historic claims he had abused girls in his Rolls-Royce and at BBC Television Centre.
Gambaccini, speaking on ITV1’s Daybreak, said he had been “waiting 30 years” for the story to come out recalling how Sir Jimmy was “about to be exposed” by one newspaper, but to prevent its publication gave an interview to a rival tabloid which stopped the negative piece.
ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen told the programme she now believes Sir Jim sexually abused under-age girls, after seeing their interviews.
Theroux said on his Facebook page: “I can’t say that I’m completely blindsided by these revelations. Still, it’s shocking and upsetting to have one’s worst fears confirmed.”
Sir Jimmy generated more than £42m for charities. He died on October 29 last year aged 84. His nephew Roger Foster said he was concerned for his uncle’s reputation and the damage allegations could do to his charities: “I don’t understand the motives behind it. I just think it’s very, very sad he can’t defend himself now he is dead.”
A spokesman for ITV said: “Due to the very serious nature of the claims made by several people, particular care and consideration was given to the decision to produce and broadcast this programme.”
Surrey Police have confirmed in 2007 they received an historic allegation of indecent assault, alleged to have occurred at a children’s home in Staines during the 1970s. The allegation was investigated and an individual interviewed under caution. The matter was dropped due to ‘insufficient evidence’.