BBC agrees to pay Cliff Richard legal fees

Agence France-Presse | Published: 20:16, Jul 26,2018


In this file photo taken on July 12, 2018 British musician Cliff Richard sits on centre court before watching US player Serena Williams play Germany's Julia Goerges during their women's singles semi-final match on the tenth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, London.—AFP photo

The BBC agreed on Thursday to pay within 14 days the legal costs of veteran British pop star Cliff Richard, after it last week lost a privacy case he pursued.

But the broadcaster also reported that it is seeking permission to appeal the court ruling over its live television coverage of a 2014 police raid on the singer’s home.

A British judge awarded Richard £210,000 ($277,000, 236,000 damages) after deciding the BBC infringed his privacy in its reporting of the police operation.

The raid was part of an investigation into historical child sex allegations, but Richard was never charged or arrested.

The corporation said it will pay the singer £850,000 to cover his legal fees, and pay £315,000 to South Yorkshire Police, which carried out the search, to reimburse its court costs.

Gavin Millar, a lawyer for the BBC, told a hearing Thursday it was ‘appropriate’ to pay the expenses.

Richards previously told the trial he had spent more than £3 million on the case.

In awarding him the damages on July 18, High Court Judge Anthony Mann found the BBC had infringed Richard’s rights in a ‘serious’ and ‘somewhat sensationalist way’.

The broadcaster, which argues the ruling could put press freedom at stake, will seek leave to appeal all of its main findings of law, according to a BBC News report on Thursday.

It noted the judge is unlikely to grant an appeal against his own judgement, in which case the BBC must decide whether to take the case to the higher Court of Appeal.

The corporation is ‘carefully considering’ that option, the report said.





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