PR guru Max Clifford said today he would try to continue to lead a normal life after being arrested by detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal, describing the allegations as “totally untrue”.
The publicist was yesterday questioned on suspicion of sexual offences as part of Operation Yewtree, the investigation into allegations of sex abuse surrounding Savile and others.
Speaking to reporters outside his Surrey home today, Mr Clifford said: “I’ll be working as I normally do - so trying to make things as normal as I possibly can under the circumstances.
“All I can say is that they are totally without any foundation and they are totally untrue.”
Meanwhile, the solicitor representing veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall said he was innocent of child abuse charges brought against him.
The 82-year-old former It’s A Knockout star is accused of indecently assaulting three girls aged between nine and 16 on various dates between 1974 and 1984.
He was initially arrested at his home on Wednesday on suspicion of rape and a further allegation of indecent assault, for which he has been released without charge.
A statement issued by Louise Straw, of lawyers Burton Copeland, said: “Stuart Hall is innocent of these charges.
“He is unable to comment further at this stage. It is a matter of concern that, in the week following the publication of the Leveson Report, there appears to have been systematic measured leaks to the media which have given a misleading impression of what this case is about.
“Stuart Hall was not afforded the opportunity to attend voluntarily at the police station. In due course, the decision that he should be arrested will be the subject of some scrutiny.
“Stuart Hall is innocent. There will be a trial and his defence will then be in the public domain.”
Hall, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, has been bailed to appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court on January 7.
He has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century and was this year awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours.
His eccentric and erudite football match summaries have made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.
The BBC said Hall would not be working at the corporation while the police inquiry was ongoing.
Mr Clifford said he had “nothing to hide”.
Asked about the statement he made outside Belgravia police station in central London after being released on bail at around 9.20pm last night, he said: “I’d been been there about 12 hours sitting in the cells and being asked questions for hours and hours and hours. I wasn’t exactly a bundle of joy, you know.
“I still came out and faced the cameras and spoke to everyone as I’ve got nothing to hide.
“I understand you have got a job to do because I have been involved for the last 45 years.
“It’s a horrible thing to happen to anybody but I’m old enough and ugly enough to face it and sort it out, which is what I have got to do.”
Mr Clifford, who was arrested at his home at 7.40am yesterday, added: “The police have got to look into it. That’s what they have to do and obviously I have to answer their questions and hopefully show clearly and conclusively to them and everybody else that there’s absolutely no truth in it at all.
“It’s extremely distressing, not only for myself but also for my wife Joan and my daughter Louise, for friends and family. It’s horrible for them as well.
“So it is up to me to do everything I can to sort this out as quickly as possible and hopefully the truth will come out and then I can get back to the life I have enjoyed for the last however many years.”
Mr Clifford said he thought he was facing two allegations dating back to 1977.
Police said in a statement that a man from Surrey arrested on suspicion of sexual offences had been bailed to appear at a date later this month, adding: “We are not prepared to discuss further.”
Scotland Yard is leading the national investigation into claims made against disgraced TV presenter Savile and other figures in the entertainment industry.
Mr Clifford is the fifth suspect to be arrested - and the sixth person to be questioned - in connection with the Yewtree operation, which has already cost around £2 million and involves a team of 30 officers.
Last month the publicist publicly questioned where the police inquiry might lead and said a lot of old stars were worried about being dragged into the investigation because they had appeared on Top Of The Pops or Jim’ll Fix It and had merely posed for photographs with girls and Savile.
“It is a situation which could easily turn into a witch hunt, a lot of big stars are frightened,” he told ITV’s Daybreak. “Where is it going to end?
“I hope they (the police) concentrate on finding people like Jimmy Savile who were manipulating girls.”
His arrest follows the questioning by detectives last week of a man in his 80s from Berkshire, as part of the investigation that does not directly relate to Savile.
Gary Glitter, comedian Freddie Starr, DJ Dave Lee Travis and a man in his 70s, reported to be former television producer Wilfred De’Ath, have been arrested and bailed as part of the investigation.
Last month Scotland Yard said it was dealing with about 450 potential victims, the vast majority of whom claimed they had fallen prey to Savile.
Officers are looking at three strands within their inquiry: claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others.