Clifford last week. :: REUTERS
Marbella regular Max Clifford was found guilty of a string of sex attacks on teenage girls last week.
The 71-year-old from Surrey was convicted of eight indecent assaults involving four women, then aged 15 to 19, between 1978 and 1984.
One victim said she had been abused from the age of 15 after meeting him while on holiday with her family in Spain.
Clifford, who owns a holiday home in Nueva Andalucía and has been coming to Marbella for almost 50 years, was found guilty by the jury on the eighth day of deliberations.
He was released on bail until his sentencing. The judge said: “The fact I have given you bail is no indication of what the final sentence will be.”
During the six-week trial Clifford repeatedly denied the claims and protested his innocence. Prosecutors portrayed him as a manipulator who promised to boost his victims’ careers in exchange for sexual favours.
The court heard how he groped one teenage model at his office in 1983 saying he could get her a part in a James Bond film.
Another victim wrote Clifford an anonymous letter after he abused her giving him an ‘A+ in grooming children’. The letter was found in his bedside table by police when they searched his home. However, Clifford called his accusers ‘fantasists’ and ‘opportunists’ during the trial.
Speaking outside court, Jenny Hopkins, deputy chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said: “I would like to thank these victims for having had the courage to come forward and give evidence.“The victims of sexual abuse, whenever it may have taken place, should know that police and prosecutors will listen.”
Peter Watt, director of National Services at the NSPCC, added: “Clifford was a rich and influential man who dined with the stars but the way he manipulated and groomed his victims is typical of many sex offenders.“He exploited their vulnerabilities, using lies and coercion to get what he wanted.”
Clifford, was a powerful figure in the British media in the 1990s and 2000s, helping to reveal the sex lives of public figures including John Prescott, David Beckham and Jude Law in a number of tabloid papers.
Two years ago he boasted of offering his services to Marbella town council to improve the image of the resort, at a cost of £30,000 a month. The council declined his offer. The ‘PR guru’ was a regular at a number of Marbella’s fashionable restaurants including James Hewitt’s Polo House.
He also helped organise the Max Clifford Celebrity Golf Challenge and Butterfly Ball in aid of the Rhys Daniels Trust at the La Cala Golf Resort in Mijas every year.