UK & World News

  • 28 April 2014, 18:06

The Once 'Untouchable' Clifford Now Faces Jail

Celebrity publicist Max Clifford was found guilty of eight indecent assaults following a five-week trial at Southwark Crown Court.

A series of women accused the PR guru of either indecently assaulting them or forcing them to commit sex acts between 1966 and 1984.

In court, Mr Clifford accused them of being "liars and fantasists" who were looking for compensation.

But women who do not know each other and who live in different parts of the UK said strikingly similar things about his lewd behaviour.

The 71-year-old has had a long career representing some of the biggest names in showbiz including Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Muhammad Ali and Simon Cowell.

Prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC earlier told the jury: "He has been at the top of the media game for many years. He knows the strings to pull. He knows how to manipulate, lie and get what he wants."

Many of the women said Clifford seemed obsessed with his own penis and made prank phone calls using bogus identities to ask the women about his size.

The defence argued the varying descriptions they gave in court meant the allegations were bogus, but Rosina Cottage QC told the jury: "It is what he did with it that is important, not the size."

She described his former office on New Bond Street in central London as Clifford's own "sexual fiefdom" where he manipulated and bullied young women.

The PR man had already admitted to extra marital affairs, wild sex parties in the 1970s and sexual practical jokes, but Clifford's method of bullying young women into doing exactly what he wanted had remained hidden.

One of the women described in court how, in the 1990s, she tried to speak to one of the national newspapers about her allegations.

The voice at the other end of the line told her: "You will not get a paper to print a story on Max Clifford. He is untouchable."

Clifford was cleared of two further charges, while the jury was unable to reach a verdict on another.

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