Few things make people more angry more than a blatant miscarriage of justice.
And nothing was so blatant as the way the BBC gleefully broadcast a live 2014 police raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s Berkshire penthouse before he’d even been interviewed, zooming in on officers investigating alleged historic sexual abuse as they rifled through the star’s belongings.
Sir Cliff has, of course, been cleared of all sex assault claims. Yet he was forced to endure 27 months of ‘living hell’ following the broadcast, before being told he would face no charges.
Yesterday, we learned he is suing the BBC and the police for £1 million. Good on him — he deserves every penny after the torture they put him through.
Coincidentally, we heard about another law suit being prepared yesterday. Royal hanger-on Fergie is suing over a tabloid sting in which she was caught red-handed on film six years ago offering access to her former husband Prince Andrew for a princely £500,000.
Fergie was a victim of the News Of The World’s ‘Fake Sheikh’ Mazher Mahmood, who was posing as a businessman prepared to pay to meet Prince Andrew, and claims she deserves compensation because the expose was unfair and lost her millions in potential work and endorsements.
Never mind the fact that Mahmood’s undercover film showed the Duchess very drunk and offering to arrange meetings with her ex. Or that she was caught on camera scooping into her briefcase $40,000 in cash that had been given to her by Mahmood as downpayment.
The fact is that Fergie was exposed as a shocking royal leech prepared to sell her ex-husband’s connections to the highest bidder.
And now she’s got her grasping hands out again, joining other victims of the Fake Sheikh who plan to lodge law suits for compensation after he was found guilty this week of perverting the course of justice in a case involving singer Tulisa Contostavlos.
No one can condone Mahmood’s behaviour. He had tampered with evidence relating to Contostavlos’s prosecution for brokering the supply of cocaine, leading to the collapse of her trial in 2014. Rightly, he faces prison.
But Fergie’s brazen opportunism — when she was caught bang to rights by Mahmood in a truly scandalous case of ‘cash for access’ — is shocking even by her standards.
Her decision to sue could not be more different from Sir Cliff Richard’s law suit against the BBC and the police. The only scandal in his case is that they have got away scot-free for ruining his life by plunging him into a legal nightmare.
Sir Cliff is a national treasure and we should back him all the way in his efforts to achieve justice. Fergie, by contrast, is a national disgrace — and should hang her head in shame.
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