Max Clifford Charged With 11 Sex Assaults

Publicist Max Clifford has been charged with 11 alleged indecent assaults, including one against a girl of 14, the CPS has said.

Clifford stands accused of sexually assaulting seven separate women.

The first, the girl of 14, was allegedly abused in 1966.

A further three females, aged between 15 and 18, allegedly suffered five offences between 1974 and 1978.

Clifford is also accused of assaulting another three females, aged between 16 and 19, between 1981 and 1985.

He has strenuously denied the allegations and said he is living in a "24/7 nightmare."

Clifford's initial arrest in December 2012 was carried out as part of Operation Yewtree, which was set up to investigate allegations of sex abuse carried out by Jimmy Savile.

There is no suggestion that his alleged offences are connected with Savile's.

Alison Saunders, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London, said in a statement: "We have carefully considered the evidence gathered as part of Operation Yewtree in relation to Max Clifford, who was initially arrested on 6 December 2012 over allegations of sexual offences.

"Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Clifford to be charged with 11 offences of indecent assault relating to seven complainants."

"Mr Clifford will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 28 May 2013.

"We have also decided that there is insufficient evidence to authorise charges in relation to three separate allegations.

"These decisions were taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and our guidance for prosecutors on sexual offences.

"May I remind all concerned that Mr Clifford has a right to a fair trial. It is very important that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice that trial. For these reasons it would be inappropriate for me to comment further."

Indecent assault is an offence contrary to Section 14 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956. It is punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment upon conviction in the Crown Court.

Clifford said in response to CPS's decision: "The allegations in respect of which I have been charged are completely false and I have made this clear to the police during many, many hours of interviews.

"Nevertheless a decision has been taken to charge me with 11 offences involving seven women, the most recent of which is 28 years ago and the oldest 47 years ago.

"I have never indecently assaulted anyone in my life and this will become clear during the course of the proceedings.

"I am naturally disappointed about today's decision, particularly because of the distress it has caused my wife, Jo, my daughter, Louise, and all those close to me.

"However, at least I will now be in a position to fully consider all the evidence against me and to answer the evidence in public and ultimately clear my name in a court of law.

"Since last December I have been living a 24/7 nightmare. A black cloud has been placed over me, obliterating the bright blue skies that I have been fortunate to live my life under for the vast majority of the past 70 years.

"Fortunately I have and continue to receive wonderful support and understanding from those who knew me, those who know me, as well as people I meet everywhere I go.

"This has made this nightmare so much easier to cope with and I am extremely grateful for this as you can imagine."