Old friend insists Max Clifford is innocent of sex assault offences

Chessington businessman Richard Hunt

Chessington businessman Richard Hunt

First published in News
Last updated
Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Senior reporter

A Chessington businessman still believes his old friend Max Clifford is innocent of historic sex offences against women and girls after visiting the former publicist in prison.

Richard Hunt, 56, who ran training company BTSC and the Surrey Sports Centre on the Cambridge Road estate, said: “I went to see him. I was the first visitor, with his daughter Louise.

“It would be an understatement if I said he wasn’t upset.

“I’m quite a hard case sort of chap that doesn’t shed a tear easily, but I can say I virtually had tears in my eyes seeing him in such a harsh place.

“The guy on the next table was a convicted armed robber.”

Judge Anthony Leonard told Clifford his assaults were of “a very serious nature” that had left a victim feeling suicidal.

The former PR mogul, who lived in Hersham, manipulated women and girls into sexual situations, including at his office.

But Mr Hunt said: “I don’t believe that the justice system is fair. He said to me ‘Why would they put him in prison for something he hasn’t done?’ Hand on heart I don’t believe he did it.

“Sadly the national press who at one time loved him and paid him thousands of pounds for stories had decided to slaughter him.”

He added that in the 1980s “thousands of normal people and hundreds of my personal friends” would have “regularly pinched a girl’s bum or [touched] their boobs, but would never be prosecuted for it”.

He gave Benny Hill’s TV programme as an example of what was deemed acceptable in previous decades.

By contrast Judge Leonard said one of Clifford’s crimes, when he took a teenage model to his office and attempted to force his penis into her mouth, would now be considered rape.

- In an article we published on Thursday, May 24, we reported a claim by businessman Richard Hunt that Chris Huhne had a conversation with the convicted sex offender Max Clifford, prior to his conviction, about conditions in Wandsworth prison. We accept that the two met before either had been to prison, and the conversation did not therefore take place at the time we implied, nor could it have been about Mr Huhne’s actual experience of life in prison. We apologise for the errors in that regard and we further note that Mr Huhne denies there was ever any conversation about prison at all. 

  • UKIP activism

Mr Hunt is involved with the UK Independence Party (UKIP) on a national level, and organised last year’s Christmas function for the party.

He displays a framed, painted portrait of Mr Farage in his office at the Chessington Business Centre, a serviced office business in Cox Lane.

He said: “Nigel Farage’s offices were above Max Clifford’s [in Mayfair]. I got to know Nigel very personally.

“I hosted the UKIP Christmas ball at my house. It was fantastic. We had 280 people there, from all over the country. It was a good evening.”

Comments (18)

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5:27pm Thu 22 May 14

DB says...

Wow! He sounds like a nice guy then.

I personally think it is great that we finally seem to be moving away from people of Clifford's status being untouchable by the law, and I hope we continue to weed out everyone who committed this type of hideous crime.
Wow! He sounds like a nice guy then. I personally think it is great that we finally seem to be moving away from people of Clifford's status being untouchable by the law, and I hope we continue to weed out everyone who committed this type of hideous crime. DB
  • Score: 16

6:26pm Thu 22 May 14

pinky107 says...

but if he was found not guilty , it would be a completely different story .
if the crimes were so bad why wait 40 years to do anything about it and don't give me that crap about maybe they were scared to , maybe they thought he was untouchable , too much of that as excuses . if some silly mare thinks doing sexual favours will get them in a james bond film then they are just stupid and shows they have low morals them selves as obviously they would stoop so low to get them selves famous . if every bloke who ever lied or blagged to get their end away was locked up , there wouldn't be any men left . and no i dont condone rape or any thing like that what so ever but surely if someone is raped dont wait half a life time to come forward , do some thing then , that way no one else will become a victim .
seems people found clifford guilty because they dont like him anyway ,before he was brought to court .
but if he was found not guilty , it would be a completely different story . if the crimes were so bad why wait 40 years to do anything about it and don't give me that crap about maybe they were scared to , maybe they thought he was untouchable , too much of that as excuses . if some silly mare thinks doing sexual favours will get them in a james bond film then they are just stupid and shows they have low morals them selves as obviously they would stoop so low to get them selves famous . if every bloke who ever lied or blagged to get their end away was locked up , there wouldn't be any men left . and no i dont condone rape or any thing like that what so ever but surely if someone is raped dont wait half a life time to come forward , do some thing then , that way no one else will become a victim . seems people found clifford guilty because they dont like him anyway ,before he was brought to court . pinky107
  • Score: -13

8:44pm Thu 22 May 14

wjlmarsh says...

Really glad to see the article. Myself I was taken aback by the verdict so I have just published a book on Amazon Kindle (If no Kindle you can down load the kindle software to your computer) "Max Clifford Why I Believe He Is Innocent" by John Marsh. Had to get it out of my system thus the book based on newspaper information and autobiography, Thanks to - Your Local Guardian, reporter Jon Sharman and Richard Hunt who are prepared to offer that there is more to it that the latest guilty by media. Thanks.
Really glad to see the article. Myself I was taken aback by the verdict so I have just published a book on Amazon Kindle (If no Kindle you can down load the kindle software to your computer) "Max Clifford Why I Believe He Is Innocent" by John Marsh. Had to get it out of my system thus the book based on newspaper information and autobiography, Thanks to - Your Local Guardian, reporter Jon Sharman and Richard Hunt who are prepared to offer that there is more to it that the latest guilty by media. Thanks. wjlmarsh
  • Score: -10

12:24am Fri 23 May 14

24357948 says...

the comment of the guy at the next table was a convicted armed robber was rather fool hardy considering he was visiting a convicted sexual offender
i am a strong believer in the judicial system in this country and for my money he was convicted so therefor he is now guilty until proven innocent
i do have some sympathy however
with his victims that is
the comment of the guy at the next table was a convicted armed robber was rather fool hardy considering he was visiting a convicted sexual offender i am a strong believer in the judicial system in this country and for my money he was convicted so therefor he is now guilty until proven innocent i do have some sympathy however with his victims that is 24357948
  • Score: 4

2:23am Fri 23 May 14

ANDYBYBY says...

jesus....sorry dont mean to blaspheme, get a life, yur friends guilty, yea , by all means stick by him but dont come on here preaching the high and mighty, hes a convicted criminal, he is in prison, thats where convicted criminals go, next to other convicted criminals, yu say your a business man, then its simple, law of the UK, Guilty=prison, your such out of touch yu really are, to be honest yur just like max, only out to get your name in the paper, a glory hunter, well done.. yu did tha..t but at the same time you made yourself get connected with a convicted peodphile....nice work dipshit
jesus....sorry dont mean to blaspheme, get a life, yur friends guilty, yea , by all means stick by him but dont come on here preaching the high and mighty, hes a convicted criminal, he is in prison, thats where convicted criminals go, next to other convicted criminals, yu say your a business man, then its simple, law of the UK, Guilty=prison, your such out of touch yu really are, to be honest yur just like max, only out to get your name in the paper, a glory hunter, well done.. yu did tha..t but at the same time you made yourself get connected with a convicted peodphile....nice work dipshit ANDYBYBY
  • Score: 5

2:08pm Fri 23 May 14

alroutemaster says...

I still don't think he was guilty of anything that was not then (and probably still is) a bit of OTT horseplay. If there is any man out there who says he never indulged in a bit of under age "slap and tickle", he's a liar......
I still don't think he was guilty of anything that was not then (and probably still is) a bit of OTT horseplay. If there is any man out there who says he never indulged in a bit of under age "slap and tickle", he's a liar...... alroutemaster
  • Score: -9

3:51pm Fri 23 May 14

DB says...

24357948 wrote:
the comment of the guy at the next table was a convicted armed robber was rather fool hardy considering he was visiting a convicted sexual offender i am a strong believer in the judicial system in this country and for my money he was convicted so therefor he is now guilty until proven innocent i do have some sympathy however with his victims that is
I think that comment by Richard Hunt just shows how lightly these old guys treat what we now consider to be sexual offences. He obviously sees an armed robber as a 'proper criminal', but a sex offender as just an every day person.

Judging from the comments here, it seems that a few people still agree, but I think he will find that it is Clifford and his ilk that get the harder time from the other prisoners that he will be sharing the next few years of his life with.
[quote][p][bold]24357948[/bold] wrote: the comment of the guy at the next table was a convicted armed robber was rather fool hardy considering he was visiting a convicted sexual offender i am a strong believer in the judicial system in this country and for my money he was convicted so therefor he is now guilty until proven innocent i do have some sympathy however with his victims that is[/p][/quote]I think that comment by Richard Hunt just shows how lightly these old guys treat what we now consider to be sexual offences. He obviously sees an armed robber as a 'proper criminal', but a sex offender as just an every day person. Judging from the comments here, it seems that a few people still agree, but I think he will find that it is Clifford and his ilk that get the harder time from the other prisoners that he will be sharing the next few years of his life with. DB
  • Score: 10

3:56pm Fri 23 May 14

marinesdad says...

Eat your porridge Clifford you bloody snake ! you took advantage of young star stuck girls and tainted them for life.You had this coming,and worse is to come for you .Hoorah for British Justice.
Eat your porridge Clifford you bloody snake ! you took advantage of young star stuck girls and tainted them for life.You had this coming,and worse is to come for you .Hoorah for British Justice. marinesdad
  • Score: -1

1:21pm Sat 24 May 14

Hove Ex-Pat says...

So Mr Hunt wants to stick up for his friend. That's OK, if he want's to do that. But do not try to pretend that he knows better than the jury & Judge, who heard all the evidence, not to forget the victims either.
So Mr Hunt wants to stick up for his friend. That's OK, if he want's to do that. But do not try to pretend that he knows better than the jury & Judge, who heard all the evidence, not to forget the victims either. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 4

4:01pm Sat 24 May 14

Dells... says...

I think a lot of people are getting the wrong end of the stick. The news & newspapers make out as if max was 71 when he supposed to have touched all these young girls..... THE MAN WAS 25 YEARS OLD when all this happened its not like he's 71 and touching up 15 year olds he was 25.. When I go out with all my pals on a lads night out I can assure you there's 15 year old girls in mini skirts looking the age of 20 all over men.. I am 25 myself and there are friends of mine that have taken girls back to there houses and only realised there ages the day after.. Another thing is when your pulling up in flash cars etc ofcourse it attracts the women especially when you got money. Since this Seville situation these women have jumped on the band wagon and obviously think they are going to get a pay out. I mean there's this crazy women on the news the other night saying she was abused by max in the disabled toilets in his offices now she's 45 years old and she's saying it happened 3 years ago..... The women is a full grown adult and knows what she's doing its not like she's been dragged in there, now she's holding her hand out... I cannot stand peadophiles and think they deserve the electric chair but max is not a peadophile he's just done what majority of 25 year old lads do when they go out but not realised there ages.. But because of who he is, he's getting badly punished for it.. If that's the case I won't have hardly no friends because they would all be inside.. There's murderers getting lighter sentences than what max Clifford got its wrong. I seriously believe it's corrupt.
I think a lot of people are getting the wrong end of the stick. The news & newspapers make out as if max was 71 when he supposed to have touched all these young girls..... THE MAN WAS 25 YEARS OLD when all this happened its not like he's 71 and touching up 15 year olds he was 25.. When I go out with all my pals on a lads night out I can assure you there's 15 year old girls in mini skirts looking the age of 20 all over men.. I am 25 myself and there are friends of mine that have taken girls back to there houses and only realised there ages the day after.. Another thing is when your pulling up in flash cars etc ofcourse it attracts the women especially when you got money. Since this Seville situation these women have jumped on the band wagon and obviously think they are going to get a pay out. I mean there's this crazy women on the news the other night saying she was abused by max in the disabled toilets in his offices now she's 45 years old and she's saying it happened 3 years ago..... The women is a full grown adult and knows what she's doing its not like she's been dragged in there, now she's holding her hand out... I cannot stand peadophiles and think they deserve the electric chair but max is not a peadophile he's just done what majority of 25 year old lads do when they go out but not realised there ages.. But because of who he is, he's getting badly punished for it.. If that's the case I won't have hardly no friends because they would all be inside.. There's murderers getting lighter sentences than what max Clifford got its wrong. I seriously believe it's corrupt. Dells...
  • Score: -1

7:19pm Sat 24 May 14

CitymanMichael says...

Richard Hunt has put his head above the parapet by voicing his opinion and I thank him for his courage.

There are extremely few 16 year old girls who have never had someone try to force themselves sexually upon them - such is the power of biological sex drive.

The vast majority of these girls know exactly how to respond - their mothers and friends have trained them & they would know instinctively anyhow.

However, complaining 30/40 years later after many women have been known to have claimed compensation leads to the possibility that the complaint is less about justice and more about financial gain.
Richard Hunt has put his head above the parapet by voicing his opinion and I thank him for his courage. There are extremely few 16 year old girls who have never had someone try to force themselves sexually upon them - such is the power of biological sex drive. The vast majority of these girls know exactly how to respond - their mothers and friends have trained them & they would know instinctively anyhow. However, complaining 30/40 years later after many women have been known to have claimed compensation leads to the possibility that the complaint is less about justice and more about financial gain. CitymanMichael
  • Score: -1

10:52am Sun 25 May 14

alphabeti says...

For the avoidance of doubt is this Richard Hunt of Richard Hunt and Sons Group? It's a common name so clarification would be welcomed. I suppose you could call him brave (or possibly stupid) to come out in defence of a convicted sex offender. Wandsworth nick is probably full of innocent men so there's an outside chance that all those women were lying after all. Personally I am inclined to err on the side of the courts.
For the avoidance of doubt is this Richard Hunt of Richard Hunt and Sons Group? It's a common name so clarification would be welcomed. I suppose you could call him brave (or possibly stupid) to come out in defence of a convicted sex offender. Wandsworth nick is probably full of innocent men so there's an outside chance that all those women were lying after all. Personally I am inclined to err on the side of the courts. alphabeti
  • Score: 2

12:00pm Sun 25 May 14

SouthernRose77 says...

So Richard Hunt thinks that Mr Clifford's women victims are liars. Not only dies Mr Hunt think that they're liars, but he is willing to voice his loathsome opinion in the public domain. Has he read the judge's Sentencing Remarks? Have any of you who agree with Mr Hunt read the judge's Sentencing Remarks? You should read them. You should read what Mr Clifford did to his seventeen-year-old victim, and what he did to his fifteen-year-old victim. He didn't just pinch their bums. He subjected them to vile sexual assaults. If you're a man who thinks that's ok, God help you. At least I now know never to vote UKIP again, and never to use any business which Mr Richard Hunt has any connection with.
So Richard Hunt thinks that Mr Clifford's women victims are liars. Not only dies Mr Hunt think that they're liars, but he is willing to voice his loathsome opinion in the public domain. Has he read the judge's Sentencing Remarks? Have any of you who agree with Mr Hunt read the judge's Sentencing Remarks? You should read them. You should read what Mr Clifford did to his seventeen-year-old victim, and what he did to his fifteen-year-old victim. He didn't just pinch their bums. He subjected them to vile sexual assaults. If you're a man who thinks that's ok, God help you. At least I now know never to vote UKIP again, and never to use any business which Mr Richard Hunt has any connection with. SouthernRose77
  • Score: 8

1:49pm Mon 26 May 14

helen59 says...

in those infamous words "WELL HE WOULD SAY THAT"
in those infamous words "WELL HE WOULD SAY THAT" helen59
  • Score: 3

1:42pm Tue 27 May 14

fedup58 says...

I agree totally with Richard Hunt as a young woman at the same time as these offences are supposed to have happened life was very different. The casting couch existed it was a fact and you either played the game or walked away. These girls, women whilst perhaps niave put themselves in the situations mainly becuase they wanted something from Max Clifford, FAME. They didn't get it so for years they have had an Axe to grind. These days its not acceptable but it was then. I could sue a few people but sadly they are not rich and famous so no point. I have met Max and always found him to be a kind and gentle person. I hope he appeals and is home soon!
I agree totally with Richard Hunt as a young woman at the same time as these offences are supposed to have happened life was very different. The casting couch existed it was a fact and you either played the game or walked away. These girls, women whilst perhaps niave put themselves in the situations mainly becuase they wanted something from Max Clifford, FAME. They didn't get it so for years they have had an Axe to grind. These days its not acceptable but it was then. I could sue a few people but sadly they are not rich and famous so no point. I have met Max and always found him to be a kind and gentle person. I hope he appeals and is home soon! fedup58
  • Score: 1

8:13pm Tue 27 May 14

Barbara Tyler says...

To all those idiots agreeing with Richard Hunt and those child sex abuse apologists out there, I challenge you to watch this and then comment! (This is a man who put his hand down the bikini bottoms of a 12 year old and then put her hand on his penis)!

http://truevisiontv.
com/films/details/97
/chosen
To all those idiots agreeing with Richard Hunt and those child sex abuse apologists out there, I challenge you to watch this and then comment! (This is a man who put his hand down the bikini bottoms of a 12 year old and then put her hand on his penis)! http://truevisiontv. com/films/details/97 /chosen Barbara Tyler
  • Score: -4

12:00am Sat 31 May 14

Lisaaaa says...

I don't believe Max Clifford is guilty. I believe he has been set-up and silenced. It does not make sense that he would leave a letter from an alleged victim laying about for a couple of years, in his bedside drawer for his family to read and subsequently for the Police to 'conveniently' find and use as evidence against him in court. Especially not when Operation Yew Tree was well underway and after the Savile Scandal had been well publicised and properties were being searched and arrests were being made. Surely, anyone of average intelligence would not leave such incriminating evidence laying about for their family to read let alone for the Police to obtain?

I believe Max Clifford's only crime is remaining silent and protecting Paedophiles like Savile and a circle of the so-called elite at the top, the real criminals and sexual misfits.

If people were to look at this rationally and without the 'he's a paedophile spectacles' on, they would realise nothing about this case makes sense or rings true.
I don't believe Max Clifford is guilty. I believe he has been set-up and silenced. It does not make sense that he would leave a letter from an alleged victim laying about for a couple of years, in his bedside drawer for his family to read and subsequently for the Police to 'conveniently' find and use as evidence against him in court. Especially not when Operation Yew Tree was well underway and after the Savile Scandal had been well publicised and properties were being searched and arrests were being made. Surely, anyone of average intelligence would not leave such incriminating evidence laying about for their family to read let alone for the Police to obtain? I believe Max Clifford's only crime is remaining silent and protecting Paedophiles like Savile and a circle of the so-called elite at the top, the real criminals and sexual misfits. If people were to look at this rationally and without the 'he's a paedophile spectacles' on, they would realise nothing about this case makes sense or rings true. Lisaaaa
  • Score: 1

12:03am Sat 31 May 14

Lisaaaa says...

Barbara Tyler wrote:
To all those idiots agreeing with Richard Hunt and those child sex abuse apologists out there, I challenge you to watch this and then comment! (This is a man who put his hand down the bikini bottoms of a 12 year old and then put her hand on his penis)!

http://truevisiontv.

com/films/details/97

/chosen
Barbara,

You're link does not does not support your comment in anyway shape or form. Do you have a direct link to confirm your comment is true? Thank you.
[quote][p][bold]Barbara Tyler[/bold] wrote: To all those idiots agreeing with Richard Hunt and those child sex abuse apologists out there, I challenge you to watch this and then comment! (This is a man who put his hand down the bikini bottoms of a 12 year old and then put her hand on his penis)! http://truevisiontv. com/films/details/97 /chosen[/p][/quote]Barbara, You're link does not does not support your comment in anyway shape or form. Do you have a direct link to confirm your comment is true? Thank you. Lisaaaa
  • Score: 1

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