Sir Cliff Richard has made the decision to sell his Berkshire home, because the ordeal of a police raid that took place there in August 2014 is "still hanging over him", his close friend Cilla Black has revealed. "It's the saddest thing for him, but he had to do it," Cilla said. "He said he never wants to live there again. It's awful."
Police conducted a raid of Cliff's Berkshire apartment seven months ago, while he was on holiday in Portugal. South Yorkshire Police controversially allowed the BBC to broadcast the raid live – a move that was later condemned as "utterly inept" by MPs.
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Sir Cliff Richard has put his Berkshire home on the market following the police raid
"He doesn't want to go back there because he's worried this is still hanging over him," Cilla added, as she spoke to the Daily Mail while attending the Shooting Stars party at Covent Garden on Tuesday evening.
"When police raided it was an invasion of his privacy. I can't even advise him because – my God! – though I've been through a lot, this is outside my experience. He will never, ever go back there again. I don't blame him."
The sale will mean that Cliff no longer owns a home in the UK; he still has properties in Portugal and Barbados. The singer bought the flat, which is located on a private estate in Sunningdale, in 2008 for £3.1million. The four-bedroom Art-Deco style apartment features a designer kitchen, opulent marble bathroom, and a bar, and is now on the market for £4.75million.
Police conducted the raid while investigating allegations of historic sexual abuse – claims Cliff later described as "absurd and untrue".
Sir Cliff's close friend Cilla Black confirmed the sale, adding "he doesn't want to go back there"
He issued a statement from Portugal hours after the police search took place. "For many months now I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online," Cliff said. "The allegations are completely false.
"Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response as it would give them more oxygen. However, the police attended my apartment in Berkshire today without notice, except it would appear to the press.
"I am not presently in the UK but it goes without saying that I will cooperate fully should the police wish to speak to me.
"Beyond stating that today's allegation is completely false, it would not be appropriate to say anything further until the police investigation has concluded."