Jimmy Savile Scandal: BBC, Star's Estate Face At Least 50 Legal Claims (Report)

8:41 AM PST 11/02/2012 by Stuart Kemp
Hulton Archive

London police on Friday questioned British comedian Freddie Starr as part of the probe into sexual abuse allegations.

LONDON – The BBC, four hospitals and other public institutions and Jimmy Savile's multi-million dollar estate are facing potential legal claims from alleged victims of sexual abuse by the former Top of the Pops host.

According to a report in The Guardian, legal experts have been in contact with 50 alleged victims looking to take legal action and demand damages as the sex abuse scandal surrounding the late broadcaster rages on.

Liz Dux, a partner at law firm Russell Jones & Walker in London told the Guardian that she is in contact with 30 alleged victims. The number has almost doubled in the last week. Up to 20 other people have made contact with Alan Collins of law firm Pannone, the report added.

Collins suggested that the BBC and the Savile estate should consider opening a compensation fund to deal with the potential flood of claims. "You've got the makings of a group action already, but how official that becomes depends on the attitude of the BBC and the estate," he told the paper.

Dux is acting on behalf of women who intend to sue the BBC, a hospital, an infirmary, a school and another unnamed institution where Savile is alleged to have assaulted women.

The legal action comes as it emerged that British comedian Freddie Starr, detained by London police late Thursday as part of an investigation into sexual abuse allegations against the late former BBC host Savile, was back Friday to answer questions after being temporarily released on bail in the morning.

BBC News had reported Thursday that a man in his 60s has been arrested as part of the Savile investigation on suspicion of sexual abuse Thursday evening. The BBC and ITV News soon identified the man as Starr.

Starr, known here for performing observational, musical and insult comedy, is the second high-profile media arrest following the detention last weekend of pop star Gary Glitter. They were questioned as part of broader investigation into the Savile sex abuse scandal.

The BBC finds itself at the center of the fallout as the public broadcaster's director general George Entwistle and other executives face questions as part of the independent inquiry into why BBC news show Newsnight's axed an investigative report into Savile's behavior.

Nick Pollard, a former head of Sky News, is leading the inquiry into whether there were failings in BBC management's handling of the Newsnight story in late 2011 and beyond. Pollard's review is expected to report back on its findings by the second half of November.

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