Comedian grilled again in UK sex abuse probe
LONDON: British comedian Freddie Starr was bailed Friday after a second round of questioning by police investigating sexual abuse allegations surrounding the late television personality Jimmy Savile.
Police had initially arrested Starr on Thursday and bailed him several hours later, before bringing the 69-year-old in again.
Starr returned to a police station on bail and was interviewed, said a spokesman for Scotland Yard police headquarters.
“He has been re-bailed to a date in December,” he added.
The police have said only that a man in his 60s was arrested in the central English county of Warwickshire, but British broadcasters and newspapers all named him as Starr.
Starr is the second person arrested in the investigation after 1970s glam rocker Gary Glitter was held and then bailed on Sunday.
It follows claims by a woman who has publicly accused Savile of abusing her that Starr touched her while they were both in a BBC dressing room in the 1970s, when she was just 14.
Starr vehemently denied this and in a television interview last month welcomed the chance to speak to police in order to clear his name.
He found fame as a comedian in the 1970s and is best known as the subject of one of the most memorable headlines in British newspaper history, when The Sun ran the 1986 front-page splash: “Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster”.
Savile, who died last year aged 84 after a long career in British television and radio, has been accused of abusing around 300 victims over a 40-year period at a number of institutions, including the BBC and three hospitals.
The scandal has snowballed since claims that Savile molested underage girls were broadcast in a television documentary last month.
Starr’s release came as lawyer Liz Dux said Savile’s estate, the BBC and three hospitals are facing possible legal action by alleged victims.
Dux, who is representing more than 20 people who claim to have been sexually assaulted, said formal notice had been sent to “all interested parties” of an intention to pursue claims against them.
“Their main objective is to get answers as to why their previous complaints weren’t listened to, to get some sort of compensation and to move on with their lives,” she said.
Savile’s relatives said they do not want anything from his estate and called for the money to be donated to an organisation dedicated to tackling sex crimes.