COMEDIAN Freddie Starr has lost his defamation claim against a woman who said he groped her at a Jimmy Savile show when she was a teenager.
The 72-year-old, who lives in Studley, denied claims he assaulted Karin Ward – who was 15 at the time – behind the scenes of the Clunk Click TV show in 1974.
He sued for slander and libel over interviews Ms Ward gave in 2012 and statements made in a website and ebook.
Mr Starr – who was not present at the London high court ruling – said as a result he lost £300,000 because of shows being cancelled.
Judge Mr Justice Nicol – who heard the case without a jury – dismissed the case because Ms Ward’s testimony was found to be true and because too much time had lapsed.
Mr Starr – who has previously appeared in Opportunity Knocks and I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here – is now reportedly facing a £1million bill in costs.
Last month he told the court he did not remember appearing on the Clunk Click show, until footage showed him in the studio with Ms Ward behind him in the audience.
Mum-of-seven Ms Ward – who at the time was a schoolgirl in Surrey – told the court along with groping her Mr Starr had also made a lewd comment about her chest which had ‘certainly helped to wreck three marriages’.
He denied the incident took place, saying it was not in his ‘moral compass’ to do such a thing.
Ms Ward, who is now 41-years-old, also said she was also abused by Clunk Click presenter Jimmy Savile more than once in return for being in the audience at the BBC Television Centre in London.
She said she believed the interviews she had given about Mr Starr to the BBC and ITV were not going to be broadcast.
Ms Ward told the judge that she was ‘not prepared to apologise to the claimant or retract what I have said because I have told the truth about him.’
Mr Justice Nicol said the claim in slander based on Ms Ward’s interview with the BBC was invalid because it was brought outside the legal time limit.
It was ruled Ms Ward was not liable for a broadcast clip from a BBC Panorama interview, which Starr claimed was libellous.
And an ITV interview – which gave rise to a slander claim – failed because Ms Ward has proved it was true she was groped and humiliated by Mr Starr.
The judge said: “His behaviour and smell also frightened her because it reminded her of her stepfather who had sexually abused her as a child. Because her words were true, this claim fails.”
In May 2014 Mr Starr was told he would face no further action over sexual offence allegations concerning 14 individuals.
He was told there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him after he spent 18 months on police bail under Scotland Yard’s Operation Yewtree investigation.