Sir Cliff Richard feels 'strained' by police investigation
Sir Cliff Richard feels "strained" by the investigation into allegations he sexually abused a teenage boy.
The British pop star's home was raided by South Yorkshire Police in August 2014, when he was out of the country in Portugal, and it is reported the investigation into the claims is set to continue for another few months.
Reflecting on the length of the process, Sir Cliff's close friend David Wigg said: "It is really appalling it is taking so long. As far as I'm concerned Sir Cliff has had an unblemished life. I don't believe any of these accusations. I don't understand why this is taking so long.
"I think it's awful for him and it's been a tremendous strain not having any conclusion for so long."
He also suggested the investigation was simply a "witch-hunt" against the chart-topping star.
He told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: "He has been left shocked and strained by the allegations. In cases like this that person is damaged professionally whatever the outcome. It's been a tremendous shock and strain for him. It seems like something of a witch-hunt."
Another of Sir Cliff's close friends, Paul Gambaccini, also defended the British music icon.
He said: "If Cliff is ever convicted of offences, down to and including traffic violations, I will eat my hat."