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Max Clifford tells court: accusers are opportunistic liars after money

By Ellen Branagh

PR guru Max Clifford has branded the women he allegedly assaulted as "fantasists and opportunist" who may be trying to get compensation.

The 70-year-old, who is accused of 11 counts of indecent assault against seven girls and women, told London's Southwark Crown Court that the women who claim he indecently assaulted them were telling a "pack of lies".

Clifford made the claims as he was cross-examined by prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC on his third day in the witness box.

In an occasionally heated exchange, the veteran celebrity agent was asked to explain why a group of women from different areas, and of different ages and backgrounds, would have made claims about him allegedly assaulting them, sometimes in apparently similar ways.

Clifford replied: "I don't know, because I don't know them. I know that what they are saying is untrue.

"I can only think it's because of an opportunity for compensation, an opportunity to make something out of this in the current climate."

He added: "Possibly they are just fantasists, possibly because they don't like me, they see an opportunity – they would be the reasons.

"I know that what they are saying is totally untrue. It's pure speculation for me or anyone else as to why they are doing it. I know it's not true."

Ms Cottage said two alleged victims had made similar allegations about being indecently assaulted by Clifford while on holiday in Spain, while two others had given similar accounts of him making them commit a sex act on him.

Of one of the victims who has given evidence, he said: "As far as I am concerned, a liar is a liar is a liar, so she sits there and tells a pack of lies and then we move on to the next one."

Clifford denies all charges against him.

The trial was adjourned until Monday morning.

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