Freddie Starr: Sex abuse probe left me suicidal
Comedian Freddie Starr has told how being under police investigation for allegations of historical sex abuse left him "suicidal".
The 72 year old was told he would not be prosecuted after spending 18 months on bail before losing a damages claim against his accuser in the High Court earlier this year.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, he revealed he moved to Spain following the ruling, which left him facing a costs bill unofficially estimated at about £1 million.
He told the paper: "No matter which way I turned there was a ****ing revolver pointing at my head so I thought, 'I'm not going to tell anyone, I'm just going to get on a plane and go to Spain, the place I love, and this is where I'm going to die'.
"I didn't even know how high the legal fees were until after I'd left Britain."
He added he had not moved "to deliberately get out of paying" and had planned to move to Spain regardless of the outcome. He likened Operation Yewtree - the police investigation into historical sex offences launched in the wake of the exposure of DJ Jimmy Savile's crimes - to the "Salem witch hunt" and said he had "hit rock bottom".
"I feel suicidal at times because I don't think things are going to get any better for me," he told the paper.
Many of his friends in the entertainment business had "forsaken" him and he was too ill to work, he added. I
n July, High Court judge Mr Justice Nicol dismissed the entertainer's claims for slander and libel and said that Karin Ward, the woman who said he groped her when she attended a Jimmy Savile TV show when she was 15, had proved the truth of her allegations.
Starr denied any wrongdoing, insisting it was not in his "moral compass" to have groped her and called her a "t**less wonder".
The Metropolitan Police has previously defended the record of the multi-million pound Operation Yewtree inquiry, which has secured several high-profile convictions. But two who were charged were not convicted and a further 10 arrested men were told no further action would be taken.