Freddie Starr dismisses groping claims
Oct. 6, 2012, 6:36 AM EST
Veteran British comedian Freddie Starr has denied allegations he attempted to grope an underage girl in the 1970s. The funnyman has dismissed Karin Ward's allegation that he tried to touch her breasts when she was 14, while visiting late British entertainer Sir Jimmy Savile at the BBC Television Centre in London. Ward's claims come amid growing uproar in the U.K. over accusations Savile, who died last year (11), sexually abused children during his heyday. Starr says, "I have never been in any situation with Jimmy Savile... and I have certainly never been with this woman. I think these women are very brave to come forward, but they shouldn't drag my name through the mud. "I completely understand their predicaments, but when they are doing it for a reason, and trying to pick names out of a hat, saying 'he'll do, Freddie Starr will do' - they could have picked anyone. It could have been some other poor b**tard. "It's horrible to be faced with this. They've done this, going after a book deal regardless of the consequences. I think there are more to come forward - and I think there should be a police investigation into it now. "I've never touched any underaged girl in my life. Paedophiles are a pet hate of mine, so I refute (the allegations) completely." Savile was the focus of a controversial expose titled Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile, which aired on U.K. network ITV on Wednesday (03Oct12), and now BBC bosses have vowed to help police with any investigation into the claims. In a statement to staff at the BBC, the network's Director General George Entwistle writes, "Like everyone who works here, I was appalled by the things I saw in the ITV documentary. I am determined that the corporation will do absolutely everything it can to help find out what happened. "I have personally been in touch with the police at a senior level to discuss how we should proceed and I have agreed that we should work closely with them. I'm certain this is the right thing to do. "This is a deeply upsetting issue which I know has horrified people across the BBC, and our thoughts and sympathies are and must be with the women affected. I am absolutely determined that we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to support the police."