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Report: Celebrity publicist Max Clifford sentenced to 8 years for assaults on girls

By CNN Staff
May 2, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
British publicist Max Clifford arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London on May 2, 2014.
British publicist Max Clifford arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London on May 2, 2014.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Max Clifford is found guilty of indecent assaults on teenage girls
  • He was convicted after allegations against TV presenter Jimmy Savile were investigated
  • He was convicted of eight assaults, cleared of two; jury didn't reach verdict on 11th case
  • Clifford, who denies the claims, has called his arrest and prosecution "a nightmare"

(CNN) -- English celebrity publicist Max Clifford was sentenced in a London court Friday to eight years in prison for a series of indecent assaults on teenage girls, Britain's Press Association reported.

The sentence came four days after Clifford, 71, was convicted in connection with Operation Yewtree, an investigation set up after numerous allegations against late British TV presenter Jimmy Savile and others. Clifford was part of the investigation that focused on accusations not directly connected to Savile.

Clifford was convicted Monday of eight indecent assaults against young victims -- one as young as 15 -- and cleared of two charges. A jury could not reach a verdict on one other.

He denied all 11 claims of sex abuse between 1966 and 1985, calling his arrest and prosecution "a nightmare" and declaring his innocence.

Clifford was arrested in December 2012 and charged in April 2013 with suspicion of sex offenses after a TV documentary that aired in October 2012.

In the documentary, which came out a year after Savile died at age 84, several people came forward alleging Savile abused them. That unleashed a flood of further allegations against Savile, who before that was seen primarily as an eccentric but charismatic man who raised millions of pounds for charity.

Clifford is Britain's most famous celebrity PR consultant, renowned for his decades-long expertise in "kiss-and-tell" clients connected to English Premier League footballers and the world of pop and showbiz.

Clifford also has represented several controversial celebrities, including O.J. Simpson, Frank Sinatra and Simon Cowell.

CNN's Alexander Felton and Peter Wilkinson contributed to this report.

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