freddie Starr has become the second person to be arrested by police investigating allegations of sexual abuse surrounding Jimmy Savile.
The 69-year-old comedian – who has vigorously denied claims he groped a 14-year-old girl in Savile’s BBC dressing room – was held by police on suspicion of sexual offences last night.
His is the second arrest in Operation Yewtree, the Scotland Yard investigation into alleged child sexual exploitation by “Savile and others”.
Detectives questioned former glam rocker Gary Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, for 10 hours on Sunday before releasing him on bail. The 68-year-old was jailed for four months in the UK in 1999 for downloading child pornography and later jailed for child sex offences in Vietnam.
Starr has spoken publicly about allegations he molested the teenager following a recording of Savile’s TV show Clunk Click in 1974, calling for police to speak with him and saying he had hired a private investigator to look into the claim. The same woman also made claims against Glitter.
Savile, the Jim’ll Fix It and Top of the Pops host, is feared to have abused as many as 300 children over six decades. A flood of claims against him was unleashed last month by an ITV documentary about his alleged crimes.
His multi-million pound estate has been frozen following the abuse allegations that have destroyed the late star’s reputation.
NatWest Bank, which is acting as Savile’s will executor and trustee, yesterday confirmed the distribution of his fortune was on hold in light of the continuing scandal.
At least one law firm is known to have launched claims against the estate on behalf of the Leeds-born BBC TV and radio host’s alleged victims.
Savile left a personal fortune of £4.3m when he died last October, aged 84. Around £3.6m was due to go to the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust.
The annual interest from a separate £600,000 trust fund was to be shared between six of Savile’s family and friends while a further 18 people were each left £1,000.
NatWest said in a statement yesterday: “Given the claims raised, distribution of the estate has been put on hold.”
The decision was welcomed by Alan Collins, a partner and specialist in abuse work at law firm Pannone, who revealed last week that he had initiated a number of claims against Savile’s estate on behalf of alleged victims.
Mr Collins said: “If NatWest had not put the estate on hold, it would have meant legal action against Savile’s estate to prevent the assets from being distributed amongst the beneficiaries of his will.”
Mr Collins also said his firm was “actively pursuing” inquiries into Savile’s overseas assets, thought to be administered in Guernsey.
The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust subsequently announced plans to close and distribute its assets to other good causes.
Meanwhile, former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has insisted that an investigation into claims of abuse by Savile on NHS premises would be independent and effective. The star allegedly molested patients during shifts as a volunteer porter at Leeds General Infirmary during the 1970s.
It is also claimed that he carried out attacks at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Broadmoor.