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Sir Cliff Richard has begun legal proceedings to sue the BBC over its coverage of a police raid on his home back in 2014.
Sir Cliff, 77, is claiming ‘substantial damages’ in a high court case that started yesterday, that is claiming financial damages for a 2015 autobiography that subsequently went unpublished, as well as legal costs and PR fees, say the Telegraph.
The singing icon is seeking damages for the manner in which the BBC covered the raid of his home as part of historic sex abuse claims but has never been charged nor found guilty of any crime relating to the allegations.
The Summer Holiday singer takes issue with the broadcasting giant for using satellite vans, circling helicopters, on the ground reporters, and the fact that they broadcast the news shortly after it happened and continued to cover the story in detail. He says it was reported in a ‘most prominent and sensational way.’
However, the BBC maintain that they’ve done nothing wrong, stating that simply covered a story in the public interest and that they weren’t in breach of the Data Protection Act, saying they’d covered it accurately.
Sir Cliff even went as far as to call the BBC’s part in the reporting ‘illegal collusion’ when he spoke to Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid about the incident.
‘I have never known, [but] I don’t think investigations take place with lighting and cameras and special angles for the helicopter, he said, referring to the BBC’s reporting as ‘ridiculous’.
‘I feel I have every right to sue because if nothing else, definitely for gross invasion of my privacy.’
Despite the BBC actually apologising to the star for any distress they may have caused him, he was still intent on suing – which made an appearance on The One Show pretty awkward when Alex Jones asked him about it in 2016.
‘A lot of people must be thinking, “Why are you sitting here on the sofa?'” But what is your relationship with the BBC like?’ she asked him, only for the singer to reply that things – despite suing – were ‘fine’.
The court battle will last for 10 days, with Sir Cliff set to give evidence himself.