A CONTROVERSIAL new documentary alleging that Sir Jimmy Savile abused under-age girls has been roundly criticised by family and friends of the late entertainer.
The 55-minute long programme, titled Exposure, is to be screened on ITV1 next week and is fronted by former police officer Mark Williams-Thomas.
The programme investigates allegations that Sir Jim, who generated more than £42m for charity, had sex with girls as young as 13 when he was at the height of his fame in the 1970s.
The Leeds-born star died last October, just two days before his 85th birthday. Throughout his life, the bachelor had faced a string of allegations relating to youngsters, which he always strenuously denied. Nothing was ever proved.
Yesterday the documentary was condemned as “digging up dirt” as it was impossible for the star to defend any claims.
Sir Jimmy’s niece Amanda McKenna, of Kirkstall, Leeds, said: “The documentary makers should be ashamed of themselves cashing in on a man who is dead and cannot defend himself.”
Leeds hairdresser Howard Silverman, pals with Sir Jim for 40 years, also hit out at the programme which screens at 11.10pm on Wednesday on ITV1.
“The worst thing is that if it was true the papers would have had a field day over the years with all the allegations Jim had to face, none of which were ever proved to be true,” he said. “We all had fun when we were young but none of it was ever with under-age girls.
“I was a very good friend of Jimmy’s and can assure everyone that this is untrue. He cannot defend himself as he is dead.”
The documentary is understood to feature interviews with women who say they were abused by the former Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix It presenter in the 1970s.
A statement on behalf of the trustees of the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust said: “The publication of such grave allegations may affect the charitable trust, which supports so many good causes.
“It is well known that Surrey Police investigated an allegation of underage sexual abuse against Sir Jimmy during his lifetime and determined that no action be taken against him.”