Cliff Richard ‘seeks £1.5m more’ from BBC in legal costs

Sir Cliff Richard ‘is demanding another £1.5million from the BBC to cover his legal costs’ after they invaded his privacy in broadcasting a sex abuse police raid on his home.

  • Sir Cliff Richard is reportedly after another £1.5m following his High Court win
  • The singer was awarded £210,000 by justices after the ruling in July 2018
  • The public broadcaster later agreed to pay another £850,000 in legal costs
  • But Sir Cliff claims he has incurred costs of £4.2m in the last four years

Sir Cliff Richard is demanding another £1.5million from the BBC to go towards his legal costs after he won an invasion of privacy case last year.

He was awarded £210,000 in damages and the licence fee-funded BBC later agreed to pay £850,000 of his legal costs.

He took them before justices after they were tipped off about a police raid on his home in Berkshire in 2014 and broadcast footage from a police helicopter.

South Yorkshire Police had sought to follow up an allegation of sexual misconduct in 1985 – though he was never arrested or charged.

The BBC broadcasting house in London, the public broadcaster could see their costs rise to more than £2m

The Mirror revealed the pop legend was after further compensation after his company Balladeer Limited stated in their accounts: ‘The company has incurred legal costs in defending the reputation of Sir Cliff Richard.

‘The final award in respect of costs in relation to this case has not yet been determined by the court and so it is impractical to include an estimate of this amount within these accounts.’

If Sir Cliff were to pursue them for the reported amount their final bill could reach well over an eye-watering £2m.

A spokesman for the singer said: ‘Sir Cliff Richard incurred costs and expenses in excess of £4.2m over more than a four year period as a direct result of the actions of South Yorkshire Police and the BBC.

‘It will be up to a Judge to decide whether or not he should recover some of those costs and expenses in full, in part, or at all.

‘Ultimately however, no matter how much is recovered through this exercise, Sir Cliff will be substantially out of pocket because of costs he is either not seeking, or is unable, to recover.’

The police raid, which emerged after an exclusive tip off by officers and led to a TV helicopter being flown in, was part of a 2014 investigation into historical child sex allegations – but Sir Cliff was not arrested or charged.

Sir Cliff suggested that senior BBC executives deserved to lose their jobs for putting him through ‘the most horrible thing that’s ever taken place in my life’.

After winning a landmark court battle over the broadcaster’s coverage of a police raid on his home, the singer said a handful of BBC managers had acted as his ‘judge, jury and executioner’.

Sir Cliff wept with relief last year after a judge ruled that the BBC had seriously infringed his privacy with its ‘sensationalist’ reporting of a historic child sex claim against him.

The broadcaster named the 77-year-old star as the subject of a police investigation – which was dropped two years later without Sir Cliff ever facing arrest or charge – and used a helicopter to cover the search of his home.

Although the ruling sparked jubiliation among Sir Cliff’s supporters, it led to warnings from lawyers that it risked undermining journalists’ ability to report police investigations.

The BBC claimed it represented a ‘significant shift against Press freedom’, while experts suggested that it could enable criminal suspects to block disclosure of their arrests.

Jonathan Munro head of BBC Newsgathering, Fran Unsworth, BBC Director, News and Current Affairs and Gary Smith, former BBC Home Editor arriving at court in 2018

In an emotional interview with ITV News after the ruling, the star said the experience had been ‘the most horrible, disastrous thing that’s ever taken place in my life’.

He said he felt compelled to take legal action because the BBC had abused its position of trust and responsibility.

In an extraordinary attack on the broadcaster, the tearful star said: ‘What the BBC did was an abuse… They took it upon themselves to be the judge, jury and executioner.’

Asked if executives should lose their jobs, he replied: ‘They have to carry the can. I don’t know how they’re going to do it but they’ll have to. If heads roll then maybe it’s because it’s deserved.’

He added: ‘The BBC knew the police were not going to name me. It seemed to me there was a great deal of arrogance there in that they took no notice of the police, they obviously didn’t read again the Leveson report.’

Sir Cliff told how the stress of the experience had caused long-term health problems and said he feared his reputation had suffered a permanent ‘tarnish’ because of the worldwide publicity surrounding the allegation.

He has previously described how he collapsed when he first saw the television coverage and later feared the stress would trigger a heart attack or stroke.