Rock icon Cliff Richard wins UK High Court privacy case

LONDON | Rock icon Cliff Richard wins UK High Court privacy case

LONDON — British rock icon Cliff Richard has won his privacy case against the BBC for its coverage of a police raid at his home and has been awarded more than 200,000 ($260,000) in damages.

Richard had sued the broadcaster for its coverage of the 2014 raid, when police were investigating alleged sex offenses.

The 77-year-old singer was never arrested or charged with any crime. People suspected of crimes are not identified in Britain until they are charged. His lawsuit claims he suffered “profound” damage to his reputation.

The BBC disputed his claims and editors said the coverage was done in good faith.

“It will make it harder to scrutinize the conduct of the police and we fear it will undermine the wider principle of the public’s right to know. It will put decision-making in the hands of the police,” she said. “We don’t believe this is compatible with liberty and press freedoms, something that has been at the heart of this country for generations.”

Richard appeared outside the London courthouse, but was too emotional to speak, saying it was “going to take a little while” before he was prepared to fully comment. Fans who had gathered to support him sang a refrain of his hit song “Congratulations” as he left with his legal team.

Richard has said he experienced a “sense of panic and powerlessness” when he saw the BBC was broadcasting from a helicopter above his home.

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By Associated Press