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Cliff Richard Denies Child Sexual Abuse Allegations

Andreas Rentz, Getty Images

UPDATE, June 16, 2016: Cliff Richard will not face charges over these alleged sex offenses, after Crown Prosecution determined that there is “insufficient evidence to prosecute.” Richard, in a statement, said he had “always maintained my innocence, co-operated fully with the investigation, and cannot understand why it has taken so long to get to this point.”

Cliff Richard, a British hero best known in America for the hit singles ‘Devil Woman‘ and ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore,’ has branded explosive abuse allegations involving an underage boy as “completely false.” Nevertheless, detectives were combing through his UK home for clues in a case that’s actually decades old.

“A search warrant was granted after police received an allegation of a sexual nature dating back to the 1980s involving a boy who was under the age of 16 at the time,” South Yorkshire police said in a statement, via the Guardian. “No one has been arrested and the owner of the property was not present.”

Richard, the most successful British male solo artist ever, became an early hero of the Beatles on the strength of an amazing run between 1959-62 that saw him notch five Top 3 albums and a whopping five chart-topping singles in the UK. Richard then scored two more No. 1 songs later in the ’60s, including 1968’s ‘Congratulations,’ before finally breaking through stateside in the ’70s. ‘Devil Woman’ from 1976 went to No. 6 in the U.S., 1979’s ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore’ to No. 7, and 1980’s ‘Suddenly‘ — a duet with Olivia Newton-John from the film ‘Xanadu’ — to No. 20. Previous to that, Richard’s highest-charting Billboard song had been 1963’s No. 25 finisher ‘It’s All in the Game.’

Richard, now 73, issued his own statement denying the charges. “For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online,” he said. “The allegations are completely false.”

Richard still tours, and in 2012 performed ‘Congratulations’ during the Diamond Jubilee concert for Queen Elizabeth II. He was the first musician to receive a knighthood, in 1995.

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