Friday, November 01, 2013
Paul Gambaccini, a Staples High School graduate who went on to become one of the most famous Americans in Britain for his career as a BBC radio disc jockey, has been arrested by British police on suspicion of historical sexual offenses, the BBC reported today.
Gambaccini, 64, was held at his home in south London early on Tuesday and questioned in police custody, before being released on bail until January, the BBC said.
A spokesman for Gambaccini said he denied the allegations, according to the report.
He was arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, a police investigation into alleged sexual abuse, predominantly the abuse of children, by the British media personality Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011, and others.
Gambaccini, who started broadcasting for the BBC in the 1970s and holds dual U.S. and British citizenship, in a statement, compared his arrest to that of the “Scottsboro Boys,” a group of black teenagers falsely accused of rape in the 1930s in the U.S. South, the Daily Telegraph reported.
He said: “On Monday night, 28 October, I attended an excellent production of the Kander and Ebb musical, the ‘Scottsboro Boys’, at the Young Vic theatre.
“It concerned a group of black men in Alabama in the 1930s who were falsely accused of sexual offenses.
“Within hours, I was arrested by Operation Yewtree. Nothing had changed, except this time there was no music.”
A spokesman for Gambaccini added: “Mr Gambaccini was interviewed by Operation Yewtree officers about historic allegations. He answered their questions and was co-operative. He denied all allegations.”
The BBC said Gambaccini has decided not to present his regular Saturday night show “Paul Gambaccini with America’s Greatest Hits,” following disclosure of his arrest.
Gambaccini moved to Westport with his family as a young child and went through the Westport school system, graduating Staples in 1966.
He went on to Dartmouth where he was involved in the student-run radio station, and then won a Rhodes Scholarship which brought him to study at the University of Oxford in England.
He later wrote for Rolling Stone magazine as a British correspondent, which brought him interest from the BBC, especially a 1973 interview with Elton John.
Known as “The Great Gambo” and “The Professor of Pop” in Britain, he has told interviewers he has never hid that he was gay and last year entered into a civil partnership.
Posted 11/01/13 at 11:53 PM Permalink