UK & World News

  • 2 April 2014, 17:01

Max Clifford: Talent Singer Gives Evidence

A talent show winner has told a court that publicist Max Clifford was not in Spain when it is alleged he met a teenage girl who claimed he indecently assaulted her.

Tom Waite, a singer who won the TV talent show New Faces in 1973, said that Clifford carried out PR for him and arranged for him to visit a Spanish holiday resort.

Waite said he arrived at the complex in June 1977 and left two weeks later and the PR guru was there at the same time.

The dates are significant, as one of his alleged victims has told a court she met Clifford in Spain during a family holiday at Pontinental in Torremolinos in late August.

She claimed that on her return to Britain she saw the publicist several times and he went on to indecently assault her in his car.

Mr Waite told Southwark Crown Court he remembered visiting the Spanish resort, arriving on June 24, on an Airtours flight from Gatwick and leaving two weeks later.

He said: "Max was there with his family" but he couldn't remember if the publicist arrived before or after him.

Mr Waite said he did not meet the alleged victim or her family, but he remembered Clifford being "hailed a hero" for rescuing a drowning child.

Clifford's barrister Richard Horwell QC, asked Mr Waite about his client and he said: "I've got no problems with Max's integrity or anything else. I just know him as a very nice guy."

When asked by Mr Horwell if he had ever seen Clifford do anything inappropriate with women Mr Waite said: "No.

"Max accompanied me to a couple of shows at the Lakeside Country Club. He had a young lady with him, a stunning young lady.

"I've never seen him put a hand on her back or give her a peck on the cheek."

Under cross-examination Mr Waite confirmed that he'd had a "general discussion" with Clifford after the publicist was arrested in December 2012.

But he reacted angrily when the prosecution suggested he had altered his version of events to protect Clifford.

Under cross-examination from Tom Little it emerged Mr Waite had initially told police in January last year when they came to question him, he had gone to Spain solely with Clifford during June-July 1977.

But he later recalled Clifford had been with his wife and daughter as well.

Mr Waite, 64, said:"Look, Max was a nice guy. I don't owe him anything. I have a daughter, there is no way I'd lie for someone."

Mr Waite again confirmed he had called Clifford to speak with him after the allegations emerged, but simply to say he was "shocked and devastated" by what he had heard.

Mr Waite said he visited Torremolinos again between August 12,1977, and August 21-22, leaving briefly to spend a few days at another resort.

He remembered it was the time that Elvis Presley died (August 16, 1977) and he had called Clifford in London to find out if it was true.

Mr Waite told the court: "He was in his office and answered."

He said he had also called Clifford on August 26, 1977, to find out his work commitments and the publicist had picked up.

Clifford, 70, from Hersham, Surrey, denies eleven counts of indecent assault between 1966 and 1984 on seven girls and women.

The trial continues.

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