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Singer Cliff Richard denies underage sex allegation

By Susannah Cullinane, CNN
updated 4:02 PM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
British singer Cliff Richard says he will cooperate fully with police its investigation of sex allegation from the 1980s.
British singer Cliff Richard says he will cooperate fully with police its investigation of sex allegation from the 1980s.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police search home of British singer Cliff Richard
  • They said they were investigating a sex allegation from the 1980s involving a boy
  • Richard issues a statement denying the allegation as "completely false"
  • The singer said he would cooperate fully with the police

(CNN) -- British singer Cliff Richard has denied an underage sex allegation dating from the 1980s as "completely false."

South Yorkshire police searched Richard's home in Sunningdale, Berkshire, on Thursday as part of an investigation into the alleged offense.

"A search warrant was granted after police received an allegation of a sexual nature dating back to the 1980s involving a boy who was under the age of 16 at the time," police said in a statement.

Thames Valley police confirmed it had assisted South Yorkshire police in the execution of the search warrant.

Richard, 73, issued a statement denying the allegation.

"For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online," he said. "Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen."

The singer said that he was not presently in the United Kingdom and that police had given no notice of its search "except it would appear to the press," but that he would cooperate fully with its inquiry.

"Beyond stating that today's allegation is completely false it would not be appropriate to say anything further until the police investigation has concluded," Richard said.

Richard -- born Harry Rodger Webb -- has sold more than 250 million records in a career that began in the 1950s. His first No. 1 hit in the UK was in 1959 with "Living Doll."

Richard was knighted in 1995.

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