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British comedian Davidson arrested by Savile police: reports

03 january 2013, 11:56
0
Photo courtesy of crwflags.com
Photo courtesy of crwflags.com
British television presenter Jim Davidson on Wednesday denied claims made against him after becoming the latest celebrity to be arrested by police investigating historic sexual abuse allegations, AFP reports.

Metropolitan Police said officers from Operation Yewtree, set up last year in the wake of claims of abuse against late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, had detained two men in their 50s on suspicion of sexual offences.

One man, aged 53, was arrested in Hampshire, southern England, at 8.00am local time (0800GMT) and another man, 59, was arrested in west London two hours later and taken to a London police station, according to a police spokesman.

Davidson's solicitor said his client faced two claims.

"Two women have made allegations in respect of Jim that date back approximately 25 years," said Henri Brandman in a statement.

"The complainants were then in their mid 20s.

"Jim vigorously denies the allegations and he has not been charged with any offence," he added.

Scotland Yard later said that the two men had been bailed until March and stressed that the arrests were not connected to the specific allegations made against Savile.

Davidson, 59, found fame as a bawdy stand-up comedian in the 1970s before going on to host BBC's prime-time snooker-based game show "Big Break" during the 90s.

The presenter, once named "Britain's funniest man", has spoken about his battles against alcoholism and admitted to violent attacks against his former wife.

According to reports, he was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport shortly after flying in to take part in this year's Celebrity Big Brother show.

Photographers snapped three people -- believed to be police officers -- arriving at Davidson's house and later carrying clear evidence bags out of the building.

Operation Yewtree has three strands; one looking at the actions of Savile, another at claims made against "Savile and others" and a third relating to complaints against people unconnected to Savile.

Wednesday's arrests, the ninth and tenth of the operation, come under the third strand, police said.

Savile, who died last year aged 84 after a long career in British television and radio, has been accused of abusing around 300 victims over a 40-year period at a number of institutions, including the BBC and three hospitals.

The scandal has snowballed since claims that Savile molested underage girls were aired in a television documentary last month, leading to the arrests of singer Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie Starr.

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