British comic Starr arrested in Savile abuse case

British police arrested comedian Freddie Starr on Thursday as part of an investigation triggered by allegations that the late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile sexually abused hundreds of children.

Police said in a statement they had arrested a man in his 60s on suspicion of sex offences. The man was identified by the British media as Starr, who earlier had offered to talk to police.

The allegations have shaken Britain’s state-funded broadcaster with hundreds of people now coming forward to report abuse dating back over several decades by Savile, a household name in Britain.

Karin Ward, who had earlier alleged in a documentary that she was abused by Savile, has accused Starr.

“I was horribly, horribly humiliated by Freddie Starr who had a very bad attack of wandering hands and had groped him. And I didn’t like him because he smelled like my stepfather. It frightened me, it freaked me out and I rebuffed him,” Ward said in a recent interview.

Starr has denied the allegation, saying recently: “Never, I never have done, I never would do.”

“It’s not my style. It’s not in me to do that. The one thing I hate, close to my heart, is paedophiles. I cannot stand them. And to be accused like this is devastating, to say the least. I got to fight back,” he said recently.

Lawyers representing some of the victims have said their clients indicated an organised paedophile ring involving celebrities existed at the BBC during the height of Savile’s fame in the 1970s and 1980s.

Starr is the second person to be arrested in the case.

On Sunday, police arrested glam rock singer and convicted sex offender Gary Glitter, born Paul Gadd, as part of the Savile investigation. He was released on bail.

In a sign of preparation for claims, Savile’s 4.3 million pound ($6.93 million) estate has been frozen in response to the allegations.

Police working on the investigation are following three broad lines of inquiry: alleged offences by Savile, by others, and by Savile and others acting together.

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