Starr 'devastated' at grope claim

Freddie Starr 'vigorously' denies he groped a schoolgirl in the 1970s

Freddie Starr 'vigorously' denies he groped a schoolgirl in the 1970s

First published in National News © by

Comedian Freddie Starr has said he would welcome the opportunity to speak to police about a "devastating" claim he was involved in groping a teenager.

He spoke out after one of Sir Jimmy Savile's accusers alleged in a TV interview that Starr had touched her when she was just 14 when they were both in a BBC dressing room.

Starr denied the allegation and said he would never have touched an under-age girl. In an interview with ITV News on Tuesday, the 69-year-old comic said he has people around him who were helping him "get to the bottom" of the claims.

Starr was named by Karin Ward who waived her right to anonymity to speak out about her claims of sexual abuse at the hands of Sir Jimmy. She said at one stage she had been in the Top Of The Pops host's dressing room and claimed Starr, who was also present, had "groped" her.

Starr had initially denied even being at a recording of a show starring Sir Jimmy, but footage screened on Channel 4 News on Monday night showed he had been on the Clunk Click programme, and was sitting only inches away from Ms Ward.

He later conceded he had been on the show but simply did not recall it. Asked by ITV News whether he had ever fondled an under-age girl, he said: "Never. I never have done. I never will do. It's not my style. It's not in me to do that.

"If there's one thing I hate, close to my heart, is paedophiles. I cannot stand them. To be accused like this is devastating. I've got to fight back. I'm the only one in the ring at the moment and I've got people now helping me which I feel better for. And they will get to the bottom of it.

"We will get to the bottom of it. I will take this evidence down to the police station and show them. I want a police investigation. I want a police investigation. I want them to interview me."

Starr said he did not recall ever meeting Ms Ward, and even viewing the footage did not jog any memories. "Look, I'm in a studio full of people and walked past her. You're asking me 40 years ago, do I remember? I get asked silly questions like this from the audience - 'I met you 35 years ago, do you remember?'."

He went on: "I do not like being tarred with the same brush as Jimmy Savile if he has been doing this."

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