Lawyers embroiled in a legal battle between Sir Cliff Richard and the BBC have agreed a one-month “pause” so that a settlement can be reached.
Sir Richard alleges that his right to privacy was infringed upon after the BBC named him as a sex offender and aired coverage of his family home in August 2014.
He said he is seeking “very substantial damages” from both the BBC and South Yorkshire Police.
The singer was cleared of all charges in 2016, but said he suffered “profound and long-lasting harm” as a result of the incident.
South Yorkshire Police have apologised “wholeheartedly for the additional anxiety caused” by the force’s “initial handling of the media interest” in its investigation into the singer.
But BBC lawyers said they would defend themselves “vigorously”, and criticised the singer for overspending on lawyers, which is reported to have broken the £800,000 mark.
However, Mr Justice Mann, who has been overseeing proceedings, said he would not be making any remarks about the level of costs.
Should BBC lose the case, they could be forced to pay Sir Richard’s entire legal bill.
A spokesman for Sir Cliff Richard said: “Sir Cliff Richard incurred these costs and expenses over more than a two-year period, we say as a direct result of the actions of South Yorkshire Police and the BBC. Ultimately it will be down to a judge to decide whether or not he should recover such costs and expenses in full or in part, or at all.”
The case continues.
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