Former Sunday Express and Daily Star editor Brian Hitchen today claimed he has known Jimmy Savile abused under-age girls for the past 45 years.
Writing in the Daily Express, Hitchen said the only thing that “puzzled” him about the revelations of the last week was “that it took so long for his sexual victims to come out of the woodwork”.
Hitchen said he first heard the allegations from the captain of the liner Canberra, who recalled how he had thrown Savile off his ship in Gibraltar after complaints from the parents of a 14-year-old girl who he was harassing.
So why in all the years that have passed since I was first told did I never write about Savile? Two reasons. In those days newspapers did not write "nasty" stories about celebrities unless the famous had been handsomely paid for their often fairly tame revelations.
The second reason is because Britain's libel laws too often help make those like Savile untouchable.
The public knew him as a selfless man who raised millions of pounds for Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire. Perhaps they should have wondered why he waited so long for a knighthood.
The answer was simple – the Establishment always suspected that he had skeletons in his cupboard.
Jimmy Savile was not a nice man. I feel desperately sorry for his victims and for his adoring public who even now will not want to believe the bad stories about their hero.