No tears for the king of sleaze

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IOL news dec 7 wld max clifford Reuters Publicist Max Clifford was arrested for alleged sex crimes on Thursday by a special police unit set up in the wake of an abuse scandal involving a former BBC TV star, his lawyer said.

London -

After being arrested and interrogated for 12 hours on suspicion of sexual offences, a clearly distressed Max Clifford made a statement on the steps of Belgravia police station.

‘These allegations are damaging and totally untrue,’ he said. ‘On a personal level they are very distressing for myself, my wife, my family and my loved ones.’

No doubt. But for the scores of people whose lives and families Clifford and his clients have ruined during his long and lucrative PR career, it was a moment of exquisite schadenfreude.

Naturally, anyone suspected of a crime - especially one so horrific -must be presumed innocent until proven guilty and Clifford is no exception. But whatever becomes of these investigations into his personal life, he is already guilty of one thing - a crime against society.

For few individuals have degraded national life to such a degree as Max Clifford, the man who turned kiss-and-tell into a personal goldmine, trading human misery as his tawdry commodity. For decades, the King of Sleaze has represented legions of home-wreckers, prostitutes and gold-diggers, making a fortune for himself in the process.

Every disgruntled mistress, every immoral publicity-seeker has had Max Clifford’s number on speed dial. From Antonia de Sancha — the fleeting mistress of former Cabinet minister David Mellor — to Rebecca Loos, the woman who claimed to have had an affair with David Beckham, Clifford has marketed (and often embellished) details of his clients’ sleazy stories.

Of course, if those in the public eye didn’t behave foolishly in the first place, Clifford would have no stories to sell. I have little sympathy for sex-crazed footballers who are caught cheating, or politicians exposed for hypocrisy over family values.

But by turning kiss-and-sell into an industry, Clifford has cynically exploited the moral weakness of others, with little thought for the marriages he has helped destroy; the families he has broken up; the children he has left exposed to cruel taunts in the playground; or the careers he has ruined in the bid for a cheap headline and a handsome pay cheque.

Perhaps this weekend, as he sits in his £3 million mansion after 12 hours in a police station proclaiming his innocence, Clifford might finally wake up to the pain he’s caused so many other innocent victims - and hang his head in shame. - Daily Mail


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