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Sir Cliff Richard thought he was 'going to die' over sex abuse investigation

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Sir Cliff Richard thought he was 'going to die' over sex abuse investigation

Sir Cliff Richard thought he was "going to die" over sex abuse allegations.

The 75-year-old singer is glad he has finally been cleared of the sex abuse charges levelled at him and admits the stress of the investigation had become so intense that he "couldn't understand what was happening" to him.

He told the Daily Mail: "I couldn't understand what was happening to me. I thought I was going to die. I told my coach what had been happening and he said, 'Your brain is just not working right and it's affecting your body.' The stress is physical, not just mental ...

"I'd wake in the middle of the night and just keep going over it. I haven't had a proper night's sleep in 22 months. I thought I was going crazy, because I found I was talking to myself. Whether I was in the shower or cleaning my teeth, I'm mumbling away in front of the mirror."

Cliff's ordeal began in August 2014 when his Berkshire home was raided by detectives whilst he was abroad in Portugal. The operation was broadcast live on the BBC following a tip-off that the search was taking place.

Although Cliff wasn't arrested or charged, his identity was revealed and South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings expressed his "deep regret" over what happened.

He said: "The apology is not good enough. It's never going to get rid of what I've been through."

Cliff has expressed his relief at the lack of charges but has slammed the investigation and says he is still waiting to be declared innocent.

He said: "I know the truth. In some people's eyes the CPS's announcement didn't go far enough because it doesn't expressly state that I am innocent; which of course I am. There lies the problem. How can there be evidence for something that never took place!"

The legendary pop star also recently called for a review of police procedures regarding such cases.

He said: "Other than in exceptional cases, people who are facing allegations should never be publicly named until charged. I was named before I was even interviewed and for me that was like being hung out like 'live bait.'"