Max Clifford, celebrity publicist and long-time bulldog in the fame game, was this evening charged with 11 indecent assaults of seven females between 1966 and 1985, ranging in ages from 14 to 19 years old.
Having previously been arrested and questioned in December 2012, Clifford's charges come as part of Operation Yewtree, the investigation set up to investigate the allegations of sex abuse committed by Jimmy Savile. However there is currently no evidence to say Clifford's case is related directly to that of Savile. Clifford was not charged over three further allegations as there was 'insufficient evidence'.
Clifford has long been infamous in the UK for representing a wide ride of questionable clients, including Rebecca Loos and other tabloid fodder kiss-and-tellers, and has long been considered one of the snakes in the grass of the entertainment industry. A choice quote re: Michael Jackson back in the day to illustrate his temperament? When asked if he'd represent MJ after his child abuse trials he said no because 'It would be the hardest job in PR after Saddam Hussein'. Now it feels like they may have been another reason.
Per the official statement from Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London Alison Saunders:
'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.
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.'
Clifford released a statement to ITV today denying the allegations.
'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.'
Clifford is currently on bail pending a court appearance on May 28th.