Jimmy Savile's relatives 'unaware of his darker side'
Published Oct 27 2012, 12:39 BST | By Alison Rowley Jimmy Savile
's relatives have expressed their "deepest sympathy" for the hundreds of reported victims of the late TV presenter.
In a statement released today (October 27), the Jim'll Fix It
star's nephew Robert Foster said that the family have watched "with horror" as details of decades of alleged abuse emerged.
© Rex Features / Alex Maguire
Foster described how Savile's family initially felt "proud of his achievements" following his death in October 2011 and knew nothing of the "firestorm of allegations" that were to follow.
"As time passed, the grieving process enabled us to come to terms with his death," he said.
"By the time summer arrived we were getting ready for the auction of his possessions so that, as he requested in his will, the money could go to his charities.
"We became aware of the programme that was being made with allegations of a darker side to him that we knew nothing about. I watched the programme in horror and could not believe that these allegations were about our uncle. This wasn't the man we knew and loved.
"The allegations kept coming... Media were chasing us asking for interviews as family members. The allegations are very serious and we began to have doubts as to our own feeling towards our uncle."
Foster revealed that the family then made the decision to remove and destroy Savile's headstone out of respect for other families who tend to plots nearby.
"We became more aware of the outrage that many members of the public were feeling [and] began to think that his headstone, which we had only unveiled a couple of weeks earlier could become a target for people wishing to show there emotions," he said.
"The dignity of the cemetery, the people who are buried there and the relatives who tend the graves had to be respected. We took the decision to remove and destroy the headstone so that it couldn't become a focus for malicious people. The decision was a difficult one to make but we knew it was the right one."
Foster said that he was sad to see evidence of his uncle's charity work erased, but realised his "despair and sadness does not compare to that felt by the victims".
"Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have suffered from every kind of abuse over so many years and we offer our deepest sympathy in what must have been a terrible time for all of them," he added.
© James Curley/Rex Features
"We can understand their reluctance to say anything earlier and can appreciate the courage it has taken to speak out now. Our hearts go out to them and we offer them our sympathy and understanding in their anguish.
"Where will it all end? Who knows. The repercussions of this scandal are enormous.
"We, as his closest family, have to endure further revelations on a daily basis.
Our feelings are in turmoil as we await the next turn of events."
On Thursday (October 25), Scotland Yard confirmed that it is now investigating 400 lines of inquiry as part of Operation Yewtree
Police are said to be looking into claims relating to three areas: abuse committed by Savile alone; abuse committed by Savile along with others; and others committing abuse.Photo gallery - Jimmy Savile in pictures:
Copyright: flickr/BBC Pictures
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