Sir Cliff Richard will sue the BBC and the South Yorkshire Police after all. In a July 10 statement on the British pop singer’s website, he announced: “I confirm that I have instructed my lawyers to make formal legal complaints to South Yorkshire Police and the BBC so that in the absence of satisfactory answers a Court will determine whether or not their behaviour was justified and proportionate.”
Richard went on, “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.”
Richard’s statement said he understands police “need to properly investigate allegations” but that the police and BBC mishandled it. When asked for comment, Richard’s representatives pointed iMediaEthics to his statement.
As iMediaEthics reported last month, the BBC apologized for upsetting Richard with its 2014 live reporting on a raid at his home. The South Yorkshire Police were investigating a child sex abuse allegation from the 1980s against Richard. The police announced last month they would not pursue charges against Richard and Richard has maintained his innocence.
The South Yorkshire Police media team told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “We have no comment to make at this time.” The BBC pointed iMediaEthics to its June statement on its reporting on Richard, which defended its reporting as in the public interest but still apologized for distressing Richard.
Hat Tip: The Guardian