Jimmy Savile was a hugely popular television and radio host in the UK
Since his death in 2011, he has been accused of dozens of counts of child abuse
Kevin Cook says he was abused by Savile when he appeared on his show in 1974
The allegations are the subject of investigations by the police and the BBC
There was a time in the 1960s and 70s when Jimmy Savile seemed to be everywhere in Britain.
The BBC television personality with his trademark white-blonde hair was the face of “Top of the Pops” and “Jim’ll Fix It.” Families would sit down with their children to watch Jimmy Savile in their homes.
So when nine-year-old Kevin Cook learned his scout troop would be featured on Savile’s show in 1974, he was absolutely thrilled.
Cook told CNN: “He was almost God-like. He was so famous. Everyone was writing to ‘Jim’ll Fix It.’ When I told people at school, they just didn’t believe it. When they knew we was going on, he was just fantastic. He was the person every child, certainly, wanted to know.”
After the show, Cook presented a tie to Savile as a present. That’s when he says Savile asked him if he would like his own “Jim’ll Fix it” badge.
According to Cook, Savile lead him backstage at BBC studios into a small, cluttered dressing room and sat him down in a chair.
“He said to me: ‘You want your own badge?’ I said: ‘Yeah.’ He said: ‘You want to earn your badge?’”
Savile proceeded to molest him, he says, undoing his boy scout uniform and fondling him.
It was only interrupted when someone opened the door and peeked in, apologized and immediately walked out. That, he says, is when Savile issued this threat:
“He said, ‘Don’t you dare tell anyone about this. No one will believe you because I’m King Jimmy. Don’t tell your mates. We know where you live.’ And that’s it. That’s the last I ever spoke to him,” Cook told CNN.
Cook kept the incident a secret for 37 years. When a number of women came forward several weeks ago with claims that Savile abused them as children, he decided to tell his wife.
“When I first heard, I thought, ‘Oh my God.’ I blamed myself for 37 years. That’s the first thing you do. Blame yourself. But I was realizing it’s not my fault. That’s a relief. Do you tell anyone? I don’t want to tell anyone else but my wife, I thought.”
Immediately after he told his wife, Cook says, they called the police.
Cook’s case is now one of more than 200 allegations of abuse by Savile that UK police are investigating, stretching back as far as 1958 and as recently as 2006 - some of the incidents are alleged to have happened on BBC property.
Jimmy Savile died in 2011, and Cook has no hope of bringing him to justice. But he does want an investigation into what BBC executives knew - and when – about Savile’s alleged predatory behavior, and whether they could have stopped it.
“I feel hatred towards them,” he says of the BBC. “Somebody must have known something. Obviously it was just covered up. That’s disgraceful because, I don’t know when it was known, but if it was [before] my incident, this might not have happened to me.”
The BBC says it is launching an investigation into whether the culture and practices there at the time allowed Savile to carry out the sexual abuse of children. The broadcaster says that investigation will begin once it gets the go-ahead from authorities. In testimony before British lawmakers Tuesday, BBC Director General George Entwistle said, right now, the broadcaster is working with police and has sought to ensure nothing it does would compromise their investigation.
Kevin says he feels guilty for not reporting the alleged incident sooner, and is now urging others to come forward.
“I’ve come forward now. If anyone ever suffered any abuse, you will be believed. It’s the hardest thing I could have ever imagined to do,” Cook said.
“Even after all these years, I still can’t watch the man.”