LONDON Dec 6 Max Clifford, Britain's most
high-profile celebrity publicist, was arrested for alleged sex
crimes on Thursday by a special police unit set up in the wake
of an abuse scandal involving a former BBC TV star, his lawyer
Clifford, 69, made his name and fortune helping some of
Britain's most famous people defend and shape their reputations
in the country's muckraking tabloid press and has been a
longstanding media pundit on celebrity scandal and the press.
He is the fifth person to be arrested since police launched
an extensive inquiry into sex crime allegations against the late
Jimmy Savile, one of the BBC's most high profile stars in the
1970s and 80s. His arrest suggests detectives are continuing to
expand the scope of their investigation.
"Max Clifford is being interviewed by police. Mr Clifford
will assist the police as best he can with their enquiries. When
we are in a position to provide further information, we will,"
his lawyer, Charlotte Harris, said in a statement.
Earlier, London's Metropolitan Police said they were
questioning a 69-year-old man on suspicion of sexual offences.
That arrest was part of an investigation into Savile, who
detectives say was one of Britain's most prolific child sex
offenders. Police are looking into more than 200 allegations of
assault and have heard from more than 500 victims.
Police are looking into three categories of alleged
offences; those involving just Savile, which make up the
majority of cases; those involving Savile and others; and those
which had no direct link to Savile.
Clifford's arrest is part of the third strand.
Some of Savile's alleged victims said they were abused on
BBC premises at the height of his fame and the fallout from the
revelations has thrown the publicly-funded broadcaster into
turmoil, forcing its director general to resign.
The other people arrested include the former glam rock
singer Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie Starr, who both deny
any wrongdoing. Police have also questioned a fifth man aged in
Clifford is best known in Britain for selling "kiss and
tell" stories relating to the rich and famous to scandal-hungry
tabloids, though he says he actually earned more money by
keeping details about celebrities out of the papers.
The publicist's clients have included "X Factor" reality TV
show creator Simon Cowell.
On Wednesday, police charged veteran BBC TV and radio
presenter Stuart Hall with three counts of indecent assault
involving girls as young as nine, relating to alleged offences
from the 1970s and 80s.
Detectives said Hall's alleged crimes were not linked to the
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Andrew Osborn)