A SHOWBIZ friend of the high-profile Australian entertainer arrested last week in England on suspicion of sex offences fears his mate’s life may have been ruined even if he’s never charged.
The 83-year-old Australian celebrity was questioned on Thursday by a British police task force set up following the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.
He was released hours later on police bail.
“It appears there’s a witch-hunt going on looking at the number of high-profile celebrities arrested,” the unnamed friend of the 83-year-old told UK tabloid, The Sunday Mirror.
“Even if those arrested are never charged, their lives will still have been ruined and that’s unfair.
“It’s easy making historic allegations against showbiz names.”
The friend said he was “dumbfounded” by the latest events.
The Australian will not be named by the Metropolitan Police unless he is charged at a later date.
He is the 11th person to have been arrested as a result of Operation Yewtree.
It was established after a TV documentary alleged former BBC disc jockey Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, sexually abused countless children over decades.
While the Australian was in the media spotlight at the same time, police have stressed his arrest was not connected to the specific allegations made against Savile.
The 83-year-old has reportedly moved out of his Berkshire home and into a London flat in recent weeks to avoid press scrutiny.
He was first interviewed under caution in late November 2012, five days after a search warrant was executed at his home.
The entertainer’s British agent has not returned AAP’s calls in recent days.
No one answered the door at his Berkshire home on Friday.
A police investigation concluded earlier this year that Savile was a predatory sex offender who abused youngsters as young as eight over more than 50 years, using his fame to rape and assault victims on BBC premises, in schools and hospitals.
The scandal has led to the arrests of singer Gary Glitter, comedians Freddie Starr and Jim Davidson and radio presenter Stuart Hall.
Prosecutors last week said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge former BBC producer Wilfred De’ath who had also been arrested.
De’ath subsequently hit out at the MET which he said had been “arresting people on rather spurious allegations” having failed “to get” Savile when he was alive.
“Operation Yewtree has gone too far … it really is getting silly,” De’ath told the BBC. – AAP