Sir Cliff Richard has informed his lawyers to begin legal action against both the BBC and the South Yorkshire police, over the handling of a raid on his home.
You may recall that back in 2014, the police were investigating historical sex allegations, and their investigations were filmed by the BBC.
We learned just last month that Cliff will not be facing criminal proceedings.
Cliff had this to say: “In the absence of satisfactory answers a court will determine whether or not their behaviour was justified and proportionate. It is important not only for me personally but much more widely. My life was effectively turned upside down and my reputation, worldwide, was unnecessarily damaged. I would not want the same to happen to others whether in the public eye or not.”
If you missed it, when the investigations were going on, BBC helicopters and cameras attended a police search of Cliff’s home. A Parliamentary Committee found that the BBC had acted “properly”, but an independent investigation found that the South Yorkshire Police shouldn’t have released “highly confidential” information on the search.
The police did apologise “wholeheartedly for the additional anxiety caused “by their initial handling of the media interest” in its investigation, but damage was undoubtedly done to Sir Cliff’s reputation.
Sir Cliff addressed the upcoming legal proceedings in a Facebook post, saying: “Whilst the police of course need to properly investigate allegations made to them, it is clear to me that questions need to be answered by both the police and the BBC about their initial handling of my matter, which has rightly been condemned from so many quarters, including the Home Affairs Select Committee, the broader press, and, even the police themselves.”
“I chose not to comment during the active investigation for obvious reasons, but having suffered the experience that I have, I firmly believe that privacy should be respected and that police guidelines are there to be followed. That means that save in exceptional circumstances people should never be named unless and until they are charged. As everybody has accepted there were no such ‘exceptional circumstances’ in my case.”