Top UK Christian Entertainer, Sir Cliff Richard, Investigated for Sexual Abuse at 1985 Billy Graham Crusade

Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff Richard

Police have searched a Berkshire property belonging to Sir Cliff Richard in relation to an alleged historical sex offence.

No arrests have been made and Sir Cliff, 73, who is abroad, said the allegation was “completely false”.

Police said the allegation involved a boy under 16.

The BBC understands it relates to an alleged sexual assault at a 1985 event where US preacher Billy Graham appeared at Bramall Lane, Sheffield.

The allegation is believed to have been reported to police recently.

The search in Sunningdale was carried out by South Yorkshire Police, which told the BBC it did not force entry to the property.

The investigation is not connected to Operation Yewtree and police said officers from that operation – set up by the Metropolitan Police to investigate hundreds of allegations in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal – had been notified.

Thames Valley Police said it had assisted the South Yorkshire force with the execution of a search warrant at the property.

Eight plain-clothed police officers in five unmarked cars arrived to conduct the search which ended at about 15:30 BST.

In his statement, Sir Cliff Richard complained that the press appeared to have been given advance notice that his home in Berkshire was to be searched – whereas he hadn’t been. He was referring to the reporters and camera crew from the BBC who were outside when police arrived.

It used to be common practice for police to let reporters know they were about to raid a celebrity’s house or make a high-profile arrest.

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