Max Clifford Guilty: Famed Publicist Sexually Assaulted Teen Girls

Image: Max Clifford Guilty: Famed Publicist Sexually Assaulted Teen Girls

Monday, 28 Apr 2014 03:06 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Max Clifford, a 71-year-old English publicist, was found guilty Monday of eight indecent assaults on teenage girls, some as young as 15 years old.

Clifford, whose client list has included the likes of Muhammad Ali, Simon Cowell, and O.J. Simpson, among many other high-profile celebrities, committed the sexual assaults from 1966 to 1984, according to British authorities, CNN reported. Sentencing is scheduled to take place on Friday.

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Clifford was arrested in December 2012 as part of an investigation into historic sexual assault cases, code-named "Operation Yewtree," which was triggered by revelations that the late BBC TV presenter Jimmy Savile was a prolific sex offender for decades, Reuters reported.

Savile, an English DJ and media personality, was found to have sexually abused hundreds of children over his career. Savile's deviance did not emerge until after his death in October 2011.

Clifford denied all the charges against him, characterizing his accusers as opportunists who were looking to make money.

During the five-week trial, British prosecutors described Clifford as a sexual predator who preyed on young girls, promising to introduce them to famous singers in return for sex acts. Prosecutors said he was a master in the art of intimidation and manipulation, Reuters noted.

Following his conviction, Clifford was released on bail until his Friday sentencing, with Judge Anthony Leonard QC warning him, "You must realize that the fact I have given you bail is no indication of what the final sentence will be," Sky News reported.

In a letter written by one of the victims to Clifford that was found by police next to his bed during a search of his apartment, the unnamed victim wrote that he "took pleasure in degrading me."

Peter Watt, director of National Services at the NSPCC, told the BBC that Clifford had been "unmasked as a ruthless and manipulative sex offender who preyed for decades on children and young women."

"Clifford was a rich and influential man who dined with the stars but the way he manipulated and groomed his victims is typical of many sex offenders," Watt added. "He exploited their vulnerabilities, using lies and coercion to get what he wanted."

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