Skip to main content

Celebrity publicist Max Clifford convicted of indecent assault

By Peter Wilkinson, CNN
updated 11:50 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Max Clifford is Britain's most famous celebrity PR consultant, renowned for his decades-long expertise in
Max Clifford is Britain's most famous celebrity PR consultant, renowned for his decades-long expertise in "kiss-and-tell" clients.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Celebrity publicist Max Clifford found guilty of indecent assaults on teenage girls
  • Clifford convicted in investigation into allegations against TV presenter Jimmy Savile
  • He was convicted of 8 assaults, cleared of two, and a jury failed to reach verdict on another
  • Clifford denies claims, calling arrest and prosecution "a nightmare"

London (CNN) -- Celebrity publicist Max Clifford was found guilty at a London court Monday of a series of indecent assaults on teenage girls, according to British police.

Clifford, from Hersham, Surrey, is the first person to be convicted in an investigation into sex abuse allegations against the late British TV presenter Jimmy Savile. He was convicted of eight indecent assaults against young victims -- one as young as 15 -- cleared of two, and a jury could not reach a verdict on one other.

The 71-year-old denied all 11 claims of sex abuse between 1966 and 1985, calling his arrest and prosecution "a nightmare" and declaring his innocence.

But prosecutors portrayed him as an expert manipulator, according to media reports, vowing to help victims' careers and introduce them to celebrities for sexual favors.

He was released on bail until his sentencing Friday, but Judge Anthony Leonard warned him all options were open to him, the Press Association reported. "You must realize that the fact I have given you bail is no indication of what the final sentence will be," he said.

Jenny Hopkins, deputy chief crown prosecutor in London, said: "Today's verdicts provide a long-denied justice to the victims of serious sexual offences.

"I would like to thank these victims for having had the courage to come forward and give evidence. The victims of sexual abuse, whenever it may have taken place, should know that police and prosecutors will listen."

Clifford was arrested in December 2012 and charged in April 2013 on suspicion of sex offenses in connection with the investigation -- dubbed Operation Yewtree -- into numerous allegations made against Savile and others after a TV documentary that aired in October 2012.

In the documentary, several people came forward alleging Savile abused them, unleashing a further flood of allegations against the star, who before that was seen primarily as an eccentric but charismatic man who raised millions of pounds for charity.

Clifford is Britain's most famous celebrity PR consultant, renowned for his decades-long expertise in "kiss-and-tell" clients connected to English Premier League footballers and the world of pop and showbiz. He has also represented several controversial celebrities, including O.J. Simpson, Frank Sinatra and Simon Cowell.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT