A house belonging to one of the U.K.’s most famous singers is being searched by police in relation to an alleged sex offense from the 1980s, the BBC reports.
Cliff Richard, 73, is among Britain’s most successful singers, having sold 21.5 million singles in a career spanning over five decades, with hits including The Young Ones and Summer Holiday. He was not at home when police entered the property and no arrests have been made.
The allegation involves a boy under 16 and dates from the 1980s, a police spokesperson said. Richard issued a statement calling the allegations “completely false.”
“Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen,” he said. “However, the police attended my apartment in Berkshire today without notice, except it would appear to the press. I am not presently in the UK but it goes without saying that I will cooperate fully should the police wish to speak to me. Beyond stating that today’s allegation is completely false it would not be appropriate to say anything further until the police investigation has concluded.”
The search is not related to Operation Yewtree, a U.K. police enquiry into historic sex offences allegedly committed by British celebrities, launched in the wake of revelations that the late DJ Jimmy Savile had abused dozens of girls. However officers from Operation Yewtree, which has arrested 18 showbusiness associates, have been informed.
Richard, born Harry Webb, is the only musician to have had a U.K. top five album or higher in each decade dating back to the 1950s. Knighted in 1995, the singer released his 100th album in 2013.
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