Janet Smith’s review: TV and radio star raped one underage girl in studio storeroom
BBC star Sir Jimmy Savile engaged in “unlawful or inappropriate” sexual conduct linked to corporation premises at least 61 times, finds Dame Janet Smith’s inquiry.
Her inquiry report – leaked to Exaro – says that these cases included the rape of two underage girls and two who were overage, although one was only 16. They also include the rape of an underage boy.
In an excruciating chapter of Smith’s draft report, the retired judge outlines Savile’s multiple rapes, attempted rapes, indecent assaults and other unlawful or inappropriate sexual activity “in some way associated with the BBC”. By far the longest chapter of the report, it runs to more than 100 pages alone and paints a monstrous picture of Britain’s public-service broadcaster.
“He used his entre to the BBC and his connections with other stars as bait with which to draw young girls into his sphere”
– Dame Janet Smith, review report
Smith writes: “Although my initial terms of reference required me to investigate Savile’s sexual activities on BBC premises or on location for the BBC, when I began to hear evidence, I soon realised that I would have to widen their scope.
“The very first victim witness, C1, described how, in 1986 when she was 15, she was doing work experience in the canteen at Broadcasting House. She met Savile when he came in one afternoon.
“He asked her if she would have a cup of tea with him when she had finished work. She agreed. He came back to collect her at 4pm.”
“He took her to his flat at 22 Park Crescent and raped her. In her case, there was no sexual activity on BBC premises. Yet, this review could not ignore such a piece of evidence. The BBC immediately accepted that I should interpret my terms of reference widely.”
Most of Savile’s more serious sexual assaults took place in his flats or caravans, Smith says. However, he raped one underage girl “in what sounds like a disused storeroom at Lime Grove studios”.
She continues: “With young girls, his chosen tactic was to invite them to watch him perform either on radio or television. This was a form of grooming. He used his entre to the BBC and his connections with other stars as bait with which to draw young girls into his sphere.”
Savile had a changing group of six to eight girls who regularly watched him present Top of the Pops. Each time, says Smith, he would pick one for sex.
“Savile called the girls his ‘Team’ or his ‘London Team’. Although this seems bizarre, I am satisfied that Savile did call this group his Team.”
One member of the group told Smith that he gave her a signed copy of his autobiography, ‘As It Happens’, when it was published in 1974.
Smith writes: “The inscription on the front page, clearly written in his hand, said:
[Girl’s name] of the Team
Belongs to Jimmy Savile her keeper
Smith continues: “She felt there was indeed ‘no escape’. Sometimes she would tell him that she was leaving him but he would just smirk and say ‘no escape’. Sometimes, when other people were there, he would mouth these words at her.
“She did not tell her other friends and family about her association with him. She was afraid of him. She believed that he had contacts in the underworld and feared what might happen if she crossed him.”
On Savile’s sexual assaults on males, Smith says: “All were under the age of 16 save one, who was about 19.”
She found at least seven such cases. “In the main, these were opportunistic incidents although one young boy was quite carefully groomed over a period of a few weeks.”
In her concluding chapter, she writes: “Some of the assaults on young boys were of a serious nature, including one case of anal intercourse, one of oral sex and others entailing the touching of the genitalia under the clothing,” adding, “All these incidents took place on BBC premises.”
Smith asks: “Was Savile a paedophile?” She writes: “If one defines a child as a person under the age of 16, the answer must be that he was.”
“I think everyone would say that an interest in pre-pubertal children is certainly paedophilia. Therefore, I would say that he was a paedophile.”
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