Entertainment Celebrity Cliff Richard wins damages in BBC privacy case

Cliff Richard wins damages in BBC privacy case

Cliff Richard
A judge has ruled that the BBC had infringed Sir Cliff Richard's privacy after a child sex assault allegation. Photo: Getty
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Cliff Richard has been awarded £210,000 ($A374,000) damages after winning his privacy case against the BBC.

The judge said the BBC had infringed Sir Cliff’s privacy rights in a “serious” and “sensationalist” way.

The 77-year-old singer took legal action against BBC bosses over coverage of a South Yorkshire Police raid on his home in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in August 2014, following a child sex assault allegation.

The judge awarded Sir Cliff damages for the “general effect” on his life and said he is entitled to recover further sums for the financial impact on the star, which will be decided at a later date.

During the hearing Sir Cliff told the judge that coverage, which involved the use of a helicopter, was a “very serious invasion” of his privacy.

The BBC disputed his claims and senior editors said the coverage was accurate and in good faith.

Mr Justice Mann heard that, in late 2013, a man made an allegation to the Metropolitan Police, saying he had been sexually assaulted by Sir Cliff during an event featuring evangelist Billy Graham at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane football stadium, in 1985, when the man was a child.

Metropolitan Police officers passed the allegation to South Yorkshire Police in July 2014.

Sir Cliff denied the allegation and was never arrested, and in June 2016 prosecutors announced that he would face no charges. 

South Yorkshire Police had agreed to pay Sir Cliff £400,000 ($709,000) after settling a claim he brought against the force.

Sir Cliff hugged friends in court after the decision.