Abuse campaigner: I told Esther Rantzen about paedo Jimmy Savile 18 years ago

Introduction – Oct 13, 2012

The revelations over Jimmy Savile’s abuse of youngsters reveal far more than the sexual abuse of youngsters. They expose more even than the complicity of the media organisations like the BBC in the cover-up.
Many individual stars seem to have known about Sir Jimmy’s behaviour. Was their silence part of the reason for success? Was their rise in the media dependent on their silence on the crimes of others in that world?
Sir Jimmy committed these alleged crimes decades ago but only now are they coming to light. Why are they likes of Paul Gambaccini and Esther Rantzen only coming forward with their stories now, after so many years of silence?
Is it to protect themselves from accusations of complicity?
More importantly, what does this say about the media and ‘entertainment business’ as a whole? Is success in the media dependent on what you are prepared to conceal, rather that what you expose?  
We say this having first exposed Savile’s crimes nearly a year ago. The current spate of revelations is only what is called a ‘limited hangout’; a partial exposure intended as a damage imitation exercise.  
There is far more to Savile’s crimes than molesting young girls: including his abuse of young boys and his involvement with the Jersey care home, where the bodies of many youngsters were later unearthed.
What other crimes remain to be uncovered and who else was instrumental in the cover-up?

Abuse campaigner: I told Esther Rantzen about paedo Jimmy Savile 18 years ago

Antonella Lazzeri – The Sun Oct 13, 2012

ESTHER Rantzen faces claims that she failed to act on Jimmy Savile paedophile rumours.

Abuse campaigner Shy Keenan says she alerted her 18 years ago.

Shy — who represents the charity The Phoenix Post, a victims’ advocacy group — said she raised concerns she had heard about the depraved star when she was contributing to a TV show.

She said: “I heard rumours about Savile’s behaviour. I didn’t know what to do but felt I had a duty to pass them on.”

Shy, 49, who was abused by her stepfather and a ring of his friends, decided to tell television personality and ChildLine founder Esther.

She said: “I had been introduced to Esther through the late sex offender specialist Ray Wyre, as a victim of child abuse. I was talking to her about what needed to be done to help victims like me.

“I was shocked by what I had heard so I thought I would tell Esther about it.”

Esther, 72, yesterday said she recalls herself or one of her researchers speaking to a girl called Peeta about being abused by her father. Shy used that name at the time. But Esther denied ever being told about specific victims of Savile..

She said she could have been told about victims of a TV star or household name — but cannot remember the incident.

She said: “It is possible.” Esther said she would have advised the person who told her to help the victims and give them the confidence to go to the police.

She said: “I do not believe she ever named Jimmy Savile or any other perpetrator.”

Esther said in last week’s ITV documentary on Savile: “We all blocked our ears to the gossip. There was gossip, there were rumours. It’s very distressing.”

Shy was raped from the age of three by her paedo stepdad who also pimped her out to other perverts in Birkenhead, Merseyside.

As an adult she bravely wore a hidden camera to snare depraved Stanley Claridge boasting of the attacks. He was jailed for 15 years.

Shy later wrote a book on her experiences and became a leading campaigner and advocate for child abuse victims.

THE BBC was engulfed in the biggest crisis of its history last night as the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal deepened.

It faces a £10million compensation payout after victims called in lawyers. One of them was a boy aged ten at the time he was attacked.

In a probe led by the Met Police, cops from 14 different forces were talking to 40 potential victims and chasing 340 lines of inquiry in the UK’s biggest child sex abuse investigation into one person.

Fresh allegations of Savile’s sick behaviour emerged. And the BBC faced new accusations that bosses knew what was happening but covered it up.

Disabled actress Julie Fernandez, 38, star of sitcom The Office, revealed Savile groped her when she appeared on his BBC show Jim’ll Fix It aged just 14.

Meanwhile the BBC — which last night made a “profound and heart-felt” apology to victims and launched two new inquiries — was facing a revolt by staff.

They are seething over the axing of a Newsnight documentary on the Savile scandal — just before a tribute to him was aired.

Newsnight producer Peter Rippon, who insists the decision was for “editorial reasons”, was facing growing pressure to resign.

Lawyers revealed victims had contacted them about compensation claims potentially worth tens of thousands of Pounds each.

Solicitor Liz Dux said the BBC had a duty of care to anyone who came into contact with Savile, who died a year ago aged 84.

She said of compensation claimants: “They want some form of recognition as to what has happened to them in the past.

“They want to be taken seriously. They just want someone believing them for a change.”

She said stories she heard were “all very similar” and “sounded very credible”. Ms Dux added: “I would say these cases have good prospects of succeeding.”

Essex County Council paid nearly £1million to four sex abuse victims earlier this year. If the BBC faces similar claims, its payout could top £10million. Jonathan Bridge, partner at Farleys Solicitor, told The Sun: “It depends on the severity of the abuse.

“You are looking at a potential cost of millions.”

The Met Police said its 340 potential lines of inquiry included 95 referred by the NSPCC.

A spokesman added: “We are in contact with 40 potential victims.

“We have officially recorded 12 allegations of sexual offences but expect this number to grow.”

Law firm Pannone said it had instructions from a man who said he was ten when he was assaulted by Savile at the Haut de la Garenne children’s home in Jersey. The ten-year-old victim is now a middle-aged man. It is not yet known who he might be seeking compensation from. But any of the institutions Savile was linked to could face legal action.

Alan Collins, specialist in abuse cases at Pannone, said of the BBC: “There’s a legal argument for saying, if you know a crime has been committed and you don’t report it to the police, you are hindering the course of justice.”

Office star Julie, 38, told how she appeared on Jim’ll Fix It with other children from her school in Hampshire in the late 1980s, when she just 14.

She said: “I was in my wheelchair but I remember his hands being everywhere, lingering too long in places they shouldn’t.

“I remember feeling uncomfortable and he had these huge rings on his fingers.”

Julie said she felt like “slapping his hand away”. She added: “It’s predatory behaviour.”

Former BBC worker Richard Pearson also told he how he once heard Savile make the sickening boast: “I’ve had three 14-year-olds this morning”.

He added: “He meant he’d had sex with them. He openly said that. He said it kept him young. I found it repulsive.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he was baffled how the Savile scandal remained hidden for so long. He said: “There must have been many people who knew what was going on in hospitals, the BBC, maybe in the police.

“The only explanation I come up with is we are seeing the dark side of the culture of celebrity.”

The new BBC inquiries will look into the handling of the Newsnight investigation and at allegations of sexual harassment levelled at the corporation.

They follow the already-announced review into what the BBC knew about the Savile claims. Announcing them, BBC director general George Entwistle, who took the job last month, said: “The watchwords are accountability, transparency and honesty. These will be forensic but also soul-searching. Jimmy Savile’s victims have faced years of pain. We owe it to them to understand how this happened.

“The revelations of sexual abuse are awful. I have one thing to repeat. That is a profound and heartfelt apology on behalf of the BBC to every victim.”

Savile is accused of abusing youngsters on BBC premises and at children’s homes and hospitals including Broadmoor and Leeds General Infirmary.

r.Phillips@thesun.co.uk

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