PUBLICIST Max Clifford last night described allegations against him as “damaging and totally untrue” as he was released following a day of questioning by police investigating the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.
The publicist was arrested at his Surrey home at 7:40am yesterday on suspicion of sexual offences and taken to a central London police station for questioning.
He was released at about 9:20pm last night and made a brief statement denying the allegations, which he said dated from 1977.
“These allegations are damaging and totally untrue,” he said. “On a personal level they are very distressing for myself, my wife, my family and my loved ones.”
He said that anyone who really knew him would know “that I would never act in the way that I have today been accused of”.
He refused to say who had made the allegations.
Mr Clifford was arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, the investigation into allegations of sex abuse surrounding Savile and others.
Charlotte Harris, of law firm Mishcon de Reya, said: “Max Clifford is being interviewed by police.
“Mr Clifford will assist the police as best he can with their inquiries. When we are in a position to provide further information, we will.”
Scotland Yard is leading the national investigation into claims made against the disgraced TV presenter and other figures in the entertainment industry.
Clifford is the fifth suspect to be arrested – and the sixth person to be questioned – in connection with the Yewtree operation, which has already cost around £2 million and involves a team of 30 officers.
Last month he publicly questioned where the police inquiry might lead and said a lot of old stars were worried about being dragged into the investigation because they had appeared on Top Of The Pops or Jim’ll Fix It and had merely posed for photographs with girls and Savile. “It is a situation which could easily turn into a witch hunt, a lot of big stars are frightened,” he told ITV’s Daybreak.
“Where is it going to end?
“I hope they [the police] concentrate on finding people like Jimmy Savile who were manipulating girls.”
His arrest follows the questioning by detectives last week of a man in his 80s from Berkshire, as part of the investigation that does not directly relate to Savile.
Gary Glitter, comedian Freddie Starr, DJ Dave Lee Travis and a man in his 70s, reported to be former television producer Wilfred De’Ath, have been arrested and bailed as part of the investigation.
Last month Scotland Yard said it was dealing with about 450 potential victims, the vast majority of whom claimed they had fallen prey to Savile.
Officers are looking at three strands within their inquiry: claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others.
Yesterday a former barrister brought in to oversee investigations into allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile on NHS premises released details on how victims or witnesses can contact the investigation team.
Kate Lampard also published terms of reference for the inquiries