Jim Davidson: people accused of sex crimes should not get anonymity
Jim Davidson, the comic, has said that defendants in sex crimes should not be granted anyonmity as it would prevent other victims coming forward
People accused of sex crimes should not be given anonymity, the comic Jim Davidson, has said despite being wrongly accused of rape and sexual assault.
Davidson, 60, was arrested last January by Operation Yewtree detectives as part of the investigation sparked by the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal.
He always protested his innocence and charges were dropped against him in August last year.
But despite going through ‘nine months of murder’ the comic said he did not believe that those accused of sex crimes should have their identity protected.
“I don’t. The publicity means that more victims will come forward to speak out,” he told the Mail on Sunday’s Event Magazine.
Several women made allegations against Davidson dating back up to 35 years. But although the comic admitted having numerous indiscretions, he always maintained they were consensual.
“When I was really famous I’d have a dressing room doodah or call up a lady for horizontal refreshment,” he said.
“Some angry people want to get their own back, maybe people believe it happened. And what is there to lose when Jimmy Savile’s victims are going to be paid £33,000 each?
“Peter Stringfellow once said about a woman that I was with “You’re worth £25,000 to her because she will sell her story to the papers.”
Operation Yewtree has been criticised since several high-profile sex abuse trials ended without convictions. Politician Nigel Evans and Coronation Street stars Bill Roache and Michael Le Vell were all cleared of sex charges.
Comic Jimmy Tarbuck was arrested and spent nearly a year on bail before being told he would not face charges.
Former BBC producers William De’Ath and Ted Beston and DJ Mike Osman were also arrested and later told they would not be charged. Ex-BBC chauffeur David Smith killed himself before making a court appearance.
But Davidson said he did not blame the police for arresting him even though he knew immediately that the allegations were unfounded.
One woman claimed he had picked her up in a gold Bentley in 1988 and watched as she was raped by another man. A second alleged that he forced her to perform a sex act following a show at the London Palladium in 1989.
“I don’t think the police had any option but to carry out these investigations,” he said.
“The police gave me a bit of paper and it said what the allegations were, and I relaxed a little bit because I thought, one was a story from a newspaper, which I’d read, and all the things she was saying didn’t add up – I didn’t own a Bentley at that time.
“And the other was a similar equally implausible story. It wasn’t underage sex, both of my accusers were in their 20s. But neither assaults happened no.
“Rape is a terrible thing. But it is also terrible to be wrongly accused of it.”
Davidson is about to embark on a UK tour and publishes his memoir, ‘No further Action: The Darkest Year of My Life’ on August 4.