Last year the BBC saw itself mired in a scandal of historic proportions, with accusations of sexual abuse over a period of decades by a late TV star being made even worse by hints of a cover-up.Tomorrow, British police will release the findings of their report into the accusations against Jimmy Savile, a BBC TV and radio host who dominated British public life since the 1960s. Sandra Laville and Josh Halliday of the Guardian have taken a look at the report, and found it just as horrifying as many have feared.
Conducted by Metropolitan police and children’s charity NSPCC, the report will be titled “Giving Victims a Voice”. It finds that Savile abused up to 500 children and young adults, and may have raped more than 30.
Savile died in 2011, but at least seven victims came forward during his lifetime — their accusations were not investigated, it appears. The Guardian reports that at least 14 separate inquires are now investigating how British institutions he was able to get away with his crimes for so long.
Savile was one of the UK’s most beloved stars, but widespread rumours about his sexual conduct appear to have been swept under the carpet and dismissed simply as another of his eccentricities. The revelations about his conduct have led to a huge reevaluation of the sexual conduct of British celebrities, and a number have been arrested by police for historical accusations.
The scandal was a huge problem for the BBC, who were later forced to admit they had cancelled their own TV investigation about the accusations against Savile. A seperate sex abuse-related scandal this year led to the BBC’s top boss resigning.
Incoming New York Times Company CEO and former BBC boss Mark Thompson has also had to face questions about his knowledge of Savile’s crimes.
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