Late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, branded one of Britain’s worst sex offenders, said he brushed off women who accused him of assault “like midges” and claimed they were trying to make money by selling stories about him, it emerged on Tuesday.
Savile’s comments were revealed in the newly-released transcript of an interview with police in October 2009, two years before he died at the age of 84.
Detectives brought him in for questioning over allegations that he had sexually assaulted a number of girls at a children’s home in the 1970s, which Savile rejected as “fantasy”.
“I’m quite happy to answer questions, because if you’ve done nothing wrong then you’re OK,” the television star said, according to the transcript released under freedom of information laws.
“If somebody alleges you’ve done something... but I’ve had so much of it in 50 years, it started in the 1950s and it’s always either someone looking for a few quid, or a story for the paper.”
Elaborating later on in the interview, he said: “(In) my business there’s women looking for a few quid, we always get something like this coming up for Christmas, because we want a few quid for Christmas right?
“And normally you can brush them away like midges and it’s not much of a price to pay for the lifestyle that we’re getting, you know what I mean?”
Around 450 people have made allegations against the former presenter, with 214 recorded as crimes, including 32 rapes.
Surrey Police interviewed him after a woman came forward accusing him of sexually abusing girls during a visit to Duncroft children’s home in Staines, west of London.
During the interview, Savile claimed police would regularly visit his home in Leeds, northern England, and would laugh off accusations against him, which went back decades.
“I have up in Yorkshire - where I live in Leeds - a collection of senior police persons who come to see me socially, but I give them all my weirdo letters and they take them back to the station,” he said.
“They don’t keep them very long. They pass them round the office, and everybody has a laugh.”
He went on to describe his “policy” of threatening legal action to deal with any further allegations.
“If I was going to sue anybody, which I never actually got round to... because they all run away and say ‘shush, pay him up’ - we go not to the local court, we go to the Old Bailey (Britain’s top criminal court) ‘cos my people can book time in the Old Bailey, so my legal people are ready and waiting,” he explained.
Savile was released without charge, but an investigation after his death by police and child protection authorities found he was a predatory and prolific sex offender.
He used his status as a star of television programmes such as the BBC music chart show Top of the Pops, and his work with charities, to abuse victims as young as eight, a report published in January found.
In the interview, Savile said it was “out of the question” that he had touched a young girl “sexually” and asked her to massage his groin area and give him oral sex.
“I’ve never done anybody any harm in my entire life, ‘cos there’s no need to, no need to,” he said.
“No need to chase girls, I’ve thousands of them on Top of the Pops, thousands on (BBC) Radio One. No need to take liberties with them, out of the question and anyway it’s not in my nature.”
He also claimed to “own” state-run hospital Stoke Mandeville, from where he co-ordinated much of his charity work.