Sir Cliff Richard has revealed the ‘”upsetting impact” the BBC coverage of a police raid on his home in 2014 had on his mental and physical health.
A High Court case against the BBC started last week with the star asking the corporation pay an undisclosed fee for his planned 2015 autobiography that went unpublished, as well as legal costs and PR fees.
“I collapsed in the kitchen. Nothing like it had ever happened to me before. I was just in despair, and felt hopeless and helpless,” he said in court yesterday (April 13).
“I felt as though I was in a hole, with no means of getting out, and I was on my knees in the kitchen sobbing.
“At that moment I couldn’t see how I could face the future, my friends, or family.”
The case relates to the BBC’s 2014 live coverage of a police raid on the star’s home as part of an investigation into allegations of historic sex abuse, which was later dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service. Sir Cliff was never arrested or charged, and has always maintained his innocence.
Sir Cliff went on to tell the court how he thought the after effects of the coverage would cause him to have a heart attack.
“It was shocking and upsetting. My health suffered, both mentally and physically.”
He added: “At one point I actually thought I was going to have a heart attack or stroke.”
The BBC has denied that it invaded Sir Cliff ‘s privacy, and has also denied claims that it breached the Data Protection Act, arguing it had accurately reported on a story that they regarded to be “a matter of high public interest”.
“There is not, and has never been, any statutory right to anonymity in these circumstances,” lawyers for the BBC stated.
The case is on going.
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