Celebrities give opinion on Sir Jim allegations
But relatives and friends of the Jim’ll Fix It star expressed their disgust that the allegations are being made when the presenter, who died on October 29 last year aged 84, was not around to defend himself. Roger Foster, Sir Jimmy’s nephew, said his family was “disgusted and disappointed” by a documentary which is due to detail the child abuse allegations when it is screened by ITV tomorrow evening.
Mr Gambaccini, speaking on ITV1’s Daybreak yesterday, said he had been “waiting 30 years” for the story to emerge. He recalled how Sir Jimmy was “about to be exposed” by one newspaper, but to prevent its publication he gave an interview to a rival tabloid which stopped the negative piece. Sir Jimmy raised more than £42m for charity during his lifetime,
Mr Gambaccini said: “Jimmy had an imperial personality, You just didn’t mess with Jim. He was the governor, because he had been the first great club DJ and the originator of Top Of The Pops, you just let him have his turf.”
Other celebrities spoke out amid the sex abuse scandal, with Louis Theroux, who made a BBC documentary about Sir Jimmy, claiming his “thoughts are with the victims”.
Theroux posted online: “So the rumours seem to have been in some degree validated. I haven’t seen ITV’s expose on Jimmy Savile yet, but from what I understand there are a number of credible accounts from underaged teenage girls of Jimmy abusing his position of trust and celebrity to procure sexual favours.
“What is especially disturbing is the nature of the alleged abuse – the fact that it apparently took place repeatedly, in the workplace and at a school he was visiting, and that it may have been known to his bosses and co-workers.”
But Mr Foster, from Goole in East Yorkshire, said he was concerned for his uncle’s reputation and also for the damage the allegations could do to charities. He added: “He hasn’t been dead a year and they’re bringing this out. It could affect his legacy and his charity work. I’m very sad and disgusted. 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.”
Presented by former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, the ITV1 documentary features women who claim Sir Jimmy was a sexual predator who 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.
ITV said one of the contributors explained how she was too frightened to speak out while Sir Jimmy was alive.
One woman tells the programme how she met Sir Jimmy at a school in Surrey in 1974 when she was 14 and he assaulted her in his caravan parked in the school grounds.
ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen told the programme that she now believes Sir Jimmy sexually abused under-age girls, after seeing their interviews.
“We all blocked our ears to the gossip,” she said. “We made him into the Jimmy Savile who was untouchable, who nobody could criticise. He was a sort of God-like figure.
“Everybody knew of the good that Jimmy did and what he did for children. And these children were powerless,” she said.
An ITV spokesman stressed “particular care and consideration” was given before deciding to broadcast the documentary, especially as Sir Jimmy is “not here to defend himself”.