PUBLIC relations guru Max Clifford has vowed to clear his name in court, after he was charged with 11 counts of indecent assault against teenage girls dating as far back as the 1960s.
The 70-year-old, famed for representing celebrities such as Simon Cowell and Jade Goody, said he has been “living a 24/7 nightmare” since his arrest in December.
Clifford was charged with offences linked to girls aged from 14 to 19 between 1966 and 1985 and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 28 May, Scotland Yard said.
He was arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, the national police inquiry sparked by allegations of abuse against Jimmy Savile.
Clifford said: “The allegations in respect of which I have been charged are completely false, and I have made this clear to the police during many, many hours of interviews.
“Nevertheless a decision has been taken to charge me with 11 offences involving seven women, the most recent of which is 28 years ago and the oldest 47 years ago.
“I have never indecently assaulted anyone in my life and this will become clear during the course of the proceedings.”
Clifford has taken on some of the most talked-about celebrity stories in the past few decades.
The public relations veteran notably represented OJ Simpson and was behind the rumours that sparked the tabloid headline “Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster”.
Clifford said: “I am naturally disappointed about today’s decision, particularly because of the distress it has caused my wife, Jo, my daughter, Louise, and all those close to me.
“However, at least I will now be in a position to fully consider all the evidence against me and to answer the evidence in public and ultimately clear my name in a court of law.
“Since last December, I have been living a 24/7 nightmare. A black cloud has been placed over me, obliterating the bright blue skies that I have been fortunate to live my life under for the vast majority of the past 70 years.”
He went on: “Fortunately, I have, and continue to receive, wonderful support and understanding from those who knew me, those who know me, as well as people I meet everywhere I go. This has made this nightmare so much easier to cope with and I am extremely grateful for this, as you can imagine.”
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) found there was insufficient evidence to bring charges in relation to three other allegations that had been made against Clifford.
Alison Saunders, chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said: “We have carefully considered the evidence gathered as part of Operation Yewtree in relation to Max Clifford, who was initially arrested on 6 December, 2012, over allegations of sexual offences.
“Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Clifford to be charged with 11 offences of indecent assault relating to seven complainants.”
The charges that he faces are:
• One offence of indecent assault relating to a girl, aged 14, in 1966
• One offence of indecent assault relating to a woman, aged 18, in 1974-75
• Three offences of indecent assault relating to a girl, aged 15, in 1977-78
• One offence of indecent assault relating to a woman, aged 19, in 1978
• Two offences of indecent assault relating to a girl, aged 16 or 17, in 1981-82
• One offence of indecent assault relating to a woman, aged 19, in 1980-81
• Two offences of indecent assault relating to a woman, aged 18, in 1984-85.