police search home of Cliff Richard on underage sex allegation
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[August 15, 2014]
LONDON (Reuters) - Police searched the
apartment of Cliff Richard, one of Britain's best-known
entertainers, on Thursday in relation to allegations of a historical
sexual offense involving an underage boy.
They said they were searching a property in Berkshire,
southwest of London, after receiving "an allegation of a sexual
nature dating back to the 1980s involving a boy who was under
the age of 16 at the time."
Richard, 73, confirmed the property being searched was his and
issued a statement denying the allegation.
"For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of
historic impropriety which have been circulating online," he
said. "The allegations are completely false.
"Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations
with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen," he
"However, the police attended my apartment in Berkshire today
without notice - except, it would appear, to the press. I am not
presently in the UK but it goes without saying that I will
cooperate fully should the police wish to speak to me."
Police said there had been no arrests in relation to the search.
Richard, one of Britain's longest-serving entertainers, was born
Harry Webb in 1940 and in his earlier days was often called
Britain's Elvis Presley.
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He shot to stardom in 1958 with "Move It" and followed up in 1959
with "Living Doll" while cementing his reputation as a heart-throb
with starring roles in film musicals "The Young Ones" in 1961 and
"Summer Holiday" in 1963.
With his backing group The Shadows, Richard was one of Britain's
most successful performers in the pre-Beatles era of the late 1950s
and early 1960s.
He has had 14 No. 1 singles in Britain and is the only singer to
have topped the UK singles chart in five consecutive decades, from
the 50s to the 90s.
(Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)
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