As he prepares to launch his tour in Killarney, veteran pop star Cliff Richard has learned that police have dropped an inquiry into one sex abuse allegation.
Having failed to find any evidence to back-up the allegations that 75-year-old Richard abused two boys in 1985, speculation is mounting that the 13-month old investigation could be halted.
Richard has always denied the claims made against him.
According to reports in the Sunday Times, Richard is also understood to have produced evidence to police that he was never alone with the two men who alleged he abused them in incidents during the 1980s.
“Cliff gave the police evidence that he was never on his own on the days when the alleged attacks took place,” said the friend, who has asked to remain anonymous.
A South Yorkshire police spokesperson declined to comment on the faltering inquiry which started just over a year ago, but said: “We won’t be providing a running commentary on the investigation. The inquiry continues.”
In a statement once the investigation became public, Richard said the allegations were false.
“The allegations are completely false,” 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.
“However, the police attended my apartment in Berkshire without notice, except it would appear to the press... it goes without saying that I will co-operate fully should the police wish to speak to me.
“Beyond stating that the allegation is completely false it would not be appropriate to say anything further until the police investigation has concluded.”
Born as Harry Webb in Lucknow, India, in 1940, Richard has become one of the most enduring stars of his time, with hits including Devil Woman and Living Doll.
He was knighted in 1995, the first rock star to be so honoured, and performed at Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace in 2012.
He kicks-off his new tour at a sell-out concert in Killarney’s INEC next Saturday. Dates in Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow — sold out within hours, encouraging Cliff’s team to add another date to London’s Royal Albert Hall, where he wraps up with a six-night run, finishing on October 18.
He has also been recording a new album in Nashville Tennessee.
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