London – British rock icon Cliff Richard is calling for people suspected of sex crimes to be granted anonymity until charged, saying his life was thrown into turmoil by false allegations splashed across the media.
Richard was interviewed in 2014 by police investigating an alleged sex assault. He was never arrested or charged, but footage of his house being raided was broadcast.
British police don’t formally identify suspects until they are charged, but names frequently become public.
Richard and broadcaster Paul Gambaccini, who was arrested in 2013 over abuse claims that were later dropped, launched a petition Monday calling for a "re-balancing of the legal system."
Richard said he’d "been through the mill. When you know you didn’t do it, you feel you’re in a hole you can’t get out of."