Obituary: Max Clifford

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Publicist Max Clifford was branded by some as a purveyor of sleaze.

Not often away from media consideration, he turned as well-known because the celebrities he represented.

He grew rich on the proceeds however claimed his actual motivation was his hatred of hypocrisy in public life.

However he discovered himself on the receiving finish of unwelcome publicity when he was jailed in 2014 after being convicted of offences of indecent assault.

Maxwell Frank Clifford was born in Kingston Upon Thames in Surrey on 6 April 1943, the son of an electrician.

The household struggled financially, not least due to his father’s alcoholism and playing.

He left college at 15 and survived simply 4 months in his first job at a division retailer in Wimbledon earlier than he was sacked.

His brother Bernard was energetic in a print union and secured Clifford a job on the Eagle comedian as an editorial assistant.

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Max Clifford

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His early years have been marred by his father’s alcoholism

When the comedian moved to new premises, Clifford took redundancy, purchased a home and went work as a journalist on the South London Press, lengthy seen as a nursery for aspiring Fleet Road hacks.

After a number of years he obtained a job within the press relations division of report firm EMI.

He was the one journalist within the division and he claimed he was referred to as on to assist launch the profession of The Beatles.

He moved on to work for a PR firm, the place he dealt with the singers Paul and Barry Ryan and met their stepfather, who represented Frank Sinatra.

Kiss and inform

On the age of 27 he began his personal firm, taking care of UK press for large names like Marlon Brando, Marvin Gaye and Muhammad Ali.

But it surely was a considerably much less exalted performer who introduced Clifford nationwide publicity.

Comic Freddie Starr was seeking to drum up protection for a forthcoming tour.

Clifford invented a narrative about Starr making a rodent sandwich after a late-night gig, spawning the Solar’s well-known headline Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster.

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Information Worldwide

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It turned out the story was a hoax

The day after he organized with Starr holding a hamster, which was dubbed Sandwich for the event.

Clifford went on to deal with quite a few kiss-and-tell tales together with the 1989 case of Pamella Bordes, who had been relationship an arms seller, a Conservative MP and a newspaper editor on the similar time.

It later emerged that he had fed the story to the Information of the World to take the stress off a brothel madam who was being investigated by the paper.

Excessive-profile shoppers got here to him due to his glorious connections within the tabloid press – whereas journalists turned to Clifford to supply tales.


He spun the unfaithful story that David Mellor, then Secretary of State for Nationwide Heritage, had made like to the actress Antonia de Sancha whereas sporting a Chelsea soccer package.

Clifford, who recognized himself as a socialist, noticed the story as a part of his marketing campaign to destabilise John Main’s authorities.

He was behind most of the tabloid scoops of the next decade. In a single month alone in 1999 he brokered three tales that dominated headlines – Lord Archer’s perjury, Cherie Blair’s being pregnant and sexual allegations in opposition to Gary Glitter.

He represented Mohammed Al Fayed following the cash-for-questions scandal by which the Harrods proprietor had paid Tory MPs to ask questions within the Home.

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de Sancha later denied Mellor had worn a Chelsea strip

He later paid damages for defamation to Neil and Christine Hamilton after a consumer falsely accused them of sexual harassment.

Clifford normally managed to work on each side of the fence, defending his shoppers’ pursuits whereas ensuring the press obtained the sensational traces they demanded.

His personal web site, which solicited tales from the general public, mentioned Clifford was “usually poacher and gamekeeper on the similar time”.

Inevitably he upset folks. He obtained loss of life threats over his dealings with the 5 males who have been suspected of the killing of Stephen Lawrence.


Clifford at all times maintained he had not represented the Lawrence suspects, however merely put them in contact with TV journalist Martin Bashir.

In 2006 he represented Tracey Temple, the secretary who had engaged in a two-year affair with Labour politician John Prescott.

He bought her story to the Mail on Sunday for a sum he described as “an terrible lot greater than £100,000”.

He generally took on circumstances for no reward. He helped two Nationwide Lottery gamers after they mislaid their successful ticket and misplaced out on a £3m prize.

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Because of Clifford Jade Goody was not often out of the general public eye

His expertise of mentioning his disabled daughter, Louise, made him vital of successive governments’ well being insurance policies – and eager to reveal political hypocrisy.

However he insisted he held again on greater than 30 tales about politicians as a result of he couldn’t see any wrongdoing.

In 2007, he was identified with prostate most cancers, however didn’t discuss his situation till he had undergone therapy.

Clifford’s relationship with the fact TV star Jade Goody started in March 2008, as she ready to participate within the Indian model of Massive Brother.


It was a bid to restore her repute after her disastrous keep within the UK’s Movie star Massive Brother home, the place she was accused of racially abusing fellow housemate Shilpa Shetty

The information of Goody’s most cancers analysis arrived throughout her keep in India and Clifford dealt with each facet of the story.

“It is distinctive,” he advised the BBC after Goody’s marriage ceremony. “It is a kind of issues that’s largely or just about solely media-led. I’ve by no means phoned anyone.”

As Goody’s spokesman, Clifford fielded inquiries about her deteriorating situation with remarkably frank solutions.

He brokered a take care of Dwelling to make a collection of tv programmes about her after her analysis.

And he secured £700,000 from OK! journal for image rights to Goody’s marriage to Jack Tweed.

In December 2012 he was arrested by police as a part of Operation Yewtree, arrange following the revelations in regards to the DJ Jimmy Savile.

He was charged with two offences of indecent assault. 4 months later he confronted 9 extra such fees together with one involving a 14-year-old woman in 1966.

He robustly denied the costs, claiming they have been fully false. “Nameless folks have made accusations from an extended, very long time in the past,” he mentioned. “They’re with none basis.”

Within the occasion, in Could 2014, Clifford was convicted of eight offences of indecent assault in opposition to 4 victims and sentenced to eight years in jail. In the course of the trial he had dismissed his victims as as “fantasists” and “opportunists”. His enchantment in opposition to conviction was rejected by the Courtroom of Attraction six months later.

In July 2015 he confronted one other cost of indecent assault primarily based on an incident alleged to have occurred in 1981. Nevertheless, he was acquitted by a jury

Max Clifford admitted a lot of his position was stopping details about his shoppers stepping into the general public eye – giving him leverage for future offers.

“Day by day, each week, each month,” he as soon as proudly advised the Oxford Union, “plenty of the lies that you just see within the newspapers, within the magazines, on tv, on the radio, are mine. “

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