Family of Jimmy Savile hit back at child abuse claims

THE nephew of the late broadcaster Sir Jimmy Savile says his family is “disgusted and disappointed” that allegations his uncle sexually abused school girls have been made when he is no longer around to defend himself.

Roger Foster was responding to allegations from a number of women in an ITV documentary about Sir Jimmy’s behaviour.

However, ITV insisted last night that it stood by the claims.

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The producers also said they took “full account” of the fact the presenter was no longer alive to defend himself.

The programme, to be shown later this week, details claims from the women dating back to the 1970s, including allegations he abused girls in his Rolls-Royce car and at the BBC Television Centre.

Mr Foster, from Goole, East Yorkshire, said he was concerned not only for Sir Jimmy’s reputation and legacy but also for the damage the allegations could do to his charities.

He said: “I just get so disgusted and disappointed by it. The guy hasn’t been dead for a year yet, and they’re bringing these stories out.

“It could affect his legacy, his charity work, everything. I’m very sad and disgusted.”

He added: “I just don’t understand the motives behind this.

“I just think it’s very, very sad you can say these things after someone’s died and the law says you can’t defend yourself when you’re dead.”

Sir Jimmy, who was famous for TV shows such as Jim’ll Fix It and Top Of The Pops in addition to being a well-known DJ on BBC Radio 1, died at his home in Leeds last October, aged 84.

The programme, presented by former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, is to be shown on ITV. The broadcaster says it features contributions from several women who claim Sir Jimmy was a sexual predator who sexually assaulted them while they were under age. One woman alleges she was raped by the DJ and another says she was asked to perform a sex act on him.

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ITV said one of the contributors explained how she was too frightened to speak out while Sir Jimmy was alive. It said the programme would allege the presenter preyed on teenagers he invited to appear on his TV shows.

One woman tells the programme she met Sir Jimmy at a school in Surrey in 1974, when she was 14, and that he assaulted her in his caravan, which was parked in the school grounds.

The BBC responded to claims that inappropriate behaviour by Sir Jimmy had been an “open secret” at the corporation by saying it had found no evidence of any misconduct by him.

In a statement, it said: “The BBC has conducted extensive searches of its files to establish whether there is any record of misconduct or allegations of misconduct by Sir Jimmy Savile during his time at the BBC. No such evidence has been found.

“Whilst the BBC condemns any behaviour of the type alleged in the strongest terms, in the absence of evidence of any kind found at the BBC that corroborates the allegations that have been made it is simply not possible for the corporation to take any further action.”

However, ITV said it was confident in the substance of its claims. A spokesman said: “This documentary is the result of an in-depth investigation into long-standing allegations of serious and widespread sexual misconduct by Sir Jimmy Savile.

• Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile is scheduled to be screened on ITV1 at 11:10pm on Wednesday.