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Cliff Richard puts legal battle with BBC on hold to try to reach a deal

By | Published on Monday 8 May 2017

Cliff Richard

Cliff Richard and the BBC have both agreed to pause their high court legal battle in a bid to reach an out of court settlement.

As previously reported, Richard is suing the BBC and South Yorkshire Police over the former’s coverage of the latter’s investigation into claims of sexual abuse that were made against the singer in 2014. The star objected in particular to the broadcaster’s filming of a police raid on one of his properties in Berkshire.

No charges were made in relation to the allegations of historical sexual assault, with the Crown Prosecution Service dropping the case because of insufficient evidence. Meanwhile Richard went legal claiming that the BBC’s coverage of the case, facilitated by South Yorkshire Police, breached his privacy rights and, in doing so, inflicted “profound and long-lasting” damage on the singer’s reputation.

A preliminary hearing in relation to the case took place in court last week during which, among other things, the BBC’s lawyers hit out at the legal bills Richard has run up while pursuing his lawsuit against the broadcaster, aware that if it loses the legal battle it might have to cover the singer’s costs.

While both sides were standing their ground during much of the preliminary hearing, on Friday reps for the broadcaster and the pop star said that they had now agreed a one-month ceasefire during which time out-of-court negotiations would take place. It remains to be seen if a deal can now be done.