Sir Cliff Richard in fight to end false sex slur hell

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The singer’s four-year ordeal began when a police raid on his home in 2014, following allegations said to date back to the mid-1980s, was broadcast live by the BBC.

He is now fronting a campaign to grant anonymity for suspected sex offenders until they are charged.

The 78-year-old is expected to say today: “I’m sure that there are those who still to this day say there is no smoke without fire.

“I am innocent of what was alleged but it took two years until the investigation concluded with no charge.

“It took a further two years, and a lot of money, to pursue a civil privacy claim until trial and a successful conclusion.”

The former teen idol says his reputation was massively damaged “despite no charges being brought against me and despite winning my privacy case”.

He added: “During that four-year period, however, I felt like I had been hung out to dry. All of this could have been avoided had my name not been publicised in the first place.

“The stigma of a false allegation sticks and something needs to be done to redress the balance.”

His speech will come at the launch of a parliamentary petition by the group Falsely Accused Individuals For Reform.

Its backers include actor Stephen Fry, DJ Paul Gambaccini and Daniel Janner QC.

Mr Janner is defending the reputation of his late father Lord Janner who faced unproved accusations.

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