Publicist Max Clifford arrives to give evidence to the
Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of
the media at the High Court in London in February.
Max Clifford, Britain's highest-profile celebrity
publicist, has been arrested for alleged sex crimes by a
special police unit set up in the wake of an abuse scandal
involving a former BBC TV star, his lawyer said.
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
He is the fifth person to be arrested since police launched
an extensive inquiry into sex crime allegations against the
late Jimmy Savile, a high-profile BBC star in the 1970s and
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
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 only 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 questioned a fifth man who is in his
"KISS AND TELL"
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
In addition to claims relating to his activities at the BBC,
the cigar-chomping one-time DJ is also accused of targeting
children at three hospitals where he carried out extensive
charity work, raising tens of millions of pounds (dollars) in
The government on Thursday published the terms of reference
for investigations to be carried out at Leeds General
Hospital, Broadmoor Hospital and Stoke Mandeveille Hospital,
the birthplace of the Paralympic Games which has an
internationally renowned unit for spinal injuries.
These are due to report towards the second half of 2013 and
will be overseen by former lawyer Kate Lampard, the
Department of Health announced.
"It is important that victims of this abuse can be certain
these investigations discover exactly what happened and what
went wrong," she said.
In total, about a dozen inquiries have been ordered into
Savile, including two internal probes at the BBC.
One is examining why the broadcaster decided to drop an
investigation by its flagship Newsnight TV programme into
Savile shortly after his death and ran laudatory shows
That has embroiled the then-BBC chief Mark Thompson, now
chief executive of the New York Times, who has denied any
knowledge of the Newsnight inquiry but has nonetheless found
the issue dogging him in his new role.