Suffolk: Savile victim reveals ‘I pleaded with him to stop. I tried to scream but nothing came out’
- Credit: PA
For nearly 30 years he sought help – but no-one would listen.
At the age of 19, Wilf (not his real name) was sexually abused. The teenager was raped, assaulted and taken advantage of by stars of the small screen, including predator Jimmy Savile.
But the abuse didn’t stop at the wandering hands of the tracksuit-clad pervert, said Wilf, who claims it was “endemic” across the BBC.
Wilf worked in an administrative role at the corporation from 1982 to 1985.
He secured the job straight out of school, and saw the bright lights of the BBC as his route to realising his dream of becoming a sports radio broadcaster.
During his lunchtimes Wilf would spend time in the BBC club, having a drink and meeting producers in a bid to make the jump into broadcasting.
“One guy told me I had no chance of getting anywhere,” he said. “But soon some senior managers took a liking to me, inviting me to clubs and bars.
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“It was a great way to meet people, influential people. Drink and drugs were all part of the scene, it was all about being seen in the right places and meeting the right people to get the break you needed.”
Wilf’s first encounter with Savile was in the canteen at the corporation’s former White City home. Cheeky and brimming with enthusiasm, the young Wilf approached Savile: “We ended up chatting away and he asked me what I did. I told him about my dreams to become a broadcaster and he said he could sort me out. I was like putty in his hands.
“He got me in to see his shows, we went to the BBC club for drinks, I thought we were friends.”
Recalling the first time Savile abused him, Wilf said: “One night he asked me to go to his apartment.
“I was sat on the sofa at his place. He said he had some paperwork for me to look over but I told him I struggled with reading. He sat next to me, he had his hand on my knee.
“He changed almost immediately. He grabbed hold of my throat and kissed me, then he grabbed at my crotch. I froze. He put his hands inside my trousers, I was sobbing my heart out. I pleaded with him to stop.I tried to scream but nothing came out.
“I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. That time he just touched me, but other times he raped me.”
The abuse didn’t stop there. Wilf said he was assaulted by other people, who can’t be named for legal reasons, over a period of six months. His life spiralled out of control.
“I started to drink, I was trying to numb what I was feeling,” he said. “I wanted to tell people but Savile told me he would get me arrested. He had a lot of influence – he told me, ‘when I speak, people do what I say’.
“I really believed him, he was so convincing and I was only 19. He was an evil, nasty, filthy pervert. Savile was one of many people who got hold of me, I don’t want people thinking he was the only one.”
Almost 30 years later and Wilf pinpoints that six months as the moment his world fell apart.
He spent time living on the streets. He lost touch with his friends and stayed away from his family, ashamed at what he believed he had let people do to him.
Wilf moved to Ipswich, desperate for a new start. But for years he struggled to get the help he so desperately longed for. He tried GPs, mental health services, the Samaritans and other charities.
“I know for people who haven’t been through it, they will question why people like me are coming forward now,” he said. “Well I have been trying to get somebody to listen to me for years, but no-one has listened.
“And for others, it can be a very hard thing to admit has happened to you. You fear people won’t believe you.
“I sought help from the Samaritans, mental health services, GPs all within a year of being abused but it got me nowhere. I told people repeatedly that I had been the victim of sexual abuse at the BBC.
“It has destroyed my life, my relationships with friends and family.”
When the story broke Wilf said he was overcome with a sense of relief.
“Finally I could think people must believe me now. I was ashamed, I am still ashamed. I often think how my life could have been different.”
Officers involved in Operation Yewtree are set to interview Wilf in the coming weeks.