Ex-celebrity publicist Max Clifford died Sunday while serving his prison sentence for offenses related to sex abuse. He was 74.
The publicist, who held a high position in the British entertainment world before his arrest, went to prison in 2014 after being convicted of eight counts of indecent assault. The charges, which resulted in an eight-year sentence, dated back almost 40 years and involved attacks on teenagers. Clifford was serving his time at Littlehey Prison in Cambridgeshire, England, when he died.
Clifford was arrested as part of Britian’s Operation Yewtree, a broad investigation into past offenses launched in the wake of the massive scandal surrounding the late British entertainer Jimmy Savile, who was found to have sexually abused hundreds of women and children. Clifford lured teenage girls as young as 14 into sex by offering them acting roles.
“The allegations in respect of which I have been charged are completely false — very upsetting, very distressing, but completely false,” Clifford told reporters outside his home at the time of the allegations. “I have never indecently assaulted anyone in my life, and this will become clear during the course of the proceedings.”
Clifford’s former clients included Simon Cowell and Mohamed al-Fayed.
According to the Daily Mail, Clifford died as a result of a heart attack after collapsing on Thursday in his cell and then again on Friday.