After the Crown Prosecution Service said it would take no further action against him following a two-year investigation into allegations of historic sexual abuse, Sir Cliff Richard is considering suing the BBC for filming a police raid at his home.
The 75-year-old singer had always maintained his innocence and spoke to the Daily Mail about his ordeal after the CPS announced last week that there was no case to answer. Richard says the accusations ruined his health, he felt close to death, and he may sue the BBC for filming the police raid at his home.
He said: "They (the BBC) have a lot to answer for and that was a real invasion into my privacy. It's unforgivable."
"They must be thinking I will sue them. Once, I would have been reluctant. It's tempting to forget the whole thing, but people like myself are in a very privileged position to possibly change things so it doesn't happen to anyone else," he added.
The enormity of the accusations on Richard made an impact the day after the raid. He recalled: "That was the moment of my biggest despair. I just collapsed. I couldn't imagine what depression was like, but I have an idea now. I felt as though I was in this hole and I had no means of getting out."
Richard learned on Thursday (16 June) that he will face no further action, with the CPS saying there was insufficient evidence to charge him – taking one month to drop the case following the police probe.
The singer was left physically and emotionally drained after the ordeal, which begun as police raided his Berkshire home live on the BBC after an alleged tip-off. Richard – who was at his farm and vineyard in Portugal at the time – watched the TV footage in shock. He told the publication that he is undergoing medical tests to clarify whether the stress has had any detrimental effects to his health.
Discussing the initial horror of watching the broadcast, he said: "That was my introduction to what they were doing and how it looked on the screen. It was really terrifying, really horrible, and of course that's when I discovered what I was supposedly accused of."
He added: "I couldn't understand what was happening to me. I thought I was going to die."