Sir Jimmy Savile, who was knighted for his services to charity, is accused by a number of women of sexually abusing them when they were young girls. The allegations are to be aired on an ITV documentary, Exposure
, due to be broadcast on Wednesday.
One of the women has alleged that Savile sexually assaulted her "dozens" of times when she was fifteen years old. According to ITV News
, she said:
As a mature woman now, I look back and I think I was actually raped on that first occasion because I definitely didn’t know we were going to have full sex and I definitely said to him, “You’re not going to go all the way”.
So looking back I think, “Oh my god, he actually raped me".
Another woman claims that when she was fourteen, Savile indecently assaulted her in a caravan on the grounds of her residential school. She adds that she was punished for making a complaint at the time.
I was taken upstairs to the isolation unit, left there for two or three days and said that I could come back into the building when I refrained from saying such filthy things and retract the accusations and you know, that was it.
When I came out I just didn’t say anything more because I hated it in the isolation unit, it was a padded cell.
Another alleged victim, who attended the same school, one which received donations from Savile, claimed she was abused in the back of his car.
There are also allegations that Savile sexually assaulted young girls in his BBC dressing room.
Esther Rantzen, a former broadcaster for the BBC and the founder of Childline, told the Mail on Sunday
I feel that we in television, in his world, in some way colluded with him as a child abuser – because I now believe that’s what he was. We all blocked our ears. There was gossip, there were rumours.
It’s very distressing. We made him into the Jimmy Savile who was untouchable, who nobody could criticise. He was a sort of god-like figure. Everybody knew of the good that Jimmy did and what he did for children. And these children were powerless.
reports that the BBC programme Newsnight
had last year been conducting an investigation into the allegations, but the piece was "killed" allegedly to save the corporation's reputation. The BBC has vigorously denied the suggestion. Peter Ripon, the editor of Newsnight
It is absolutely untrue that the Newsnight investigation was dropped for anything other than editorial reasons.
Roger Foster, Jimmy Savile's nephew, condemned the allegations. He said:
I just get so disgusted and disappointed by it. The guy hasn't been dead for a year yet and they're bringing these stories out.
It could affect his legacy, his charity work, everything.
I'm very sad and disgusted.