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London Police Detain Pop Star Gary Glitter in Jimmy Savile Sexual Abuse Probe

Jimmy Savile and Gary Glitter split
Hulton Archive (Savile) / Getty Images (Glitter)

The scandal has rocked the BBC, for which the late Savile used to host "Top of the Pops."

LONDON - Police here on Sunday detained former pop star Gary Glitter in connection with the investigation into sexual abuse charges against late former BBC host Jimmy Savile, British media reported.

Glitter was arrested in central London and taken to a police station, the Guardian reported. Glitter's most famous song is "Rock'n Roll Part 2," a staple of sports events.

A spokesman for the London Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard, confirmed the arrest of a man in his 60s in connection with the probe, but didn't divulge further details. Media reports said further arrests are possible.

The Scotland Yard investigation is looking at as many as 300 young abuse victims in the broader Savile scandal, the police had said late in the week.

The scandal has rocked the BBC and its leadership, which has been criticized for ignoring signs of Savile's behavior in the past and not launching a broad investigation earlier. It has led to two internal probes at the public broadcaster.

A recent ITV documentary that brought up the sexual abuse allegations against former Top of the Pops host Savile had also shown an old interview with Savile, in which he had defended Glitter.

Glitter was in 1999 convicted of downloading pornographic images of children. He was later jailed for three years for molesting two girls aged 11 and 12 in Vietnam.

The ITV documentary showed Savile defending Glitter for using the downloaded photos for his own "gratification" instead of selling them.

Meanwhile, public relations guru Max Clifford told the Guardian that more than a dozen British celebrities from the 1960s and 1970s were "frightened to death" that they could be implicated in the Savile abuse scandal.

He didn't name any stars, but said they had approached him to handle any possible fallout. At the peak of their careers they spent time with young girls, but "never asked for anybody's birth certificate," he said.

British media also reported that the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster has sent a letter to the pope to ask him to think about removing Savile's papal knighthood amid the scandal.

Th Guardian report also said that Savile's former Scottish cottage was vandalized overnight, with "abusive slogans" painted on to the walls of the property.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai