Sir Cliff Richard has spoken about the “horrific” emotional aftermath of a highly publicised police raid on his home.
The pop star said the trauma of BBC coverage of the police search of his Berkshire home in 2014, following a claim of historical sexual assault, had left him emotionally drained.
He said it was heartbreaking that such an accusation could be levelled against him, and added that the coverage left him feeling helpless.
I’ve had four terrible years and it was horrificSir Cliff Richard
Speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show, the singer spoke about the raid for which the BBC deployed a helicopter to provide news coverage.
Sir Cliff was not arrested and charges were never brought.
The 78-year-old said: “I’ve had four terrible years and it was horrific.
“My best quote is that I can say that I would never wish that on my worst enemy. It was tumultuous, horrific, emotionally draining, traumatic.
“It felt like I was in thick mud, I can’t describe it any better – a hole – and I didn’t know how to get out. I didn’t know what to do. Thank God for friends and thank God for God.”
In the end it was just heartbreaking for me that anyone would even think it possible for that accusation to be trueSir Cliff Richard
The singer was in Portugal at the time and was phoned by his management to alert him to the raid. He remembered watching the coverage from circling helicopters after the search.
Sir Cliff said it was “unfair” to be judged the way he was, without any arrest being made or charges brought.
He told Ross he was not guilty and the media should have behaved accordingly.
He said: “I saw all that later, the helicopters. It was very intrusive and it’s hard to explain to people what it feels like.
“In the end it was just heartbreaking for me that anyone would even think it possible for that accusation to be true. There was no substance to it and that’s what makes it so ugly for me.”
He sued the BBC over the coverage and in July, Mr Justice Mann ruled in Sir Cliff’s favour, concluding the coverage was a very serious privacy invasion and awarding him £210,000 damages.
The full interview can be seen on The Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday November 17 at 9.40pm.