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Rolf Harris arrested over sex offense allegations

  • Associated Press
  • April 19, 2013 - 5:20 AM

LONDON - Rolf Harris, a veteran entertainer who has released hit singles and painted Queen Elizabeth II's portrait, has been arrested as part of a police investigation into sexual abuse allegations stemming from the Jimmy Savile scandal, British media reported Friday.

Major media outlets followed The Sun newspaper in identifying Harris, an Australian-born artist, musician and television host who is a household name in Britain.

He was first questioned by police in November but not arrested. He was arrested in March and released on bail pending further inquiries.

Asked about Harris, London's Metropolitan Police said they would not name suspects who have not been charged.

Police said an 82-year-old man in Berkshire, west of London, was arrested March 28 as part of Operation Yewtree, an investigation launched after revelations that Savile targeted hundreds of young victims over five decades. Savile died in 2011 at age 84.

Police said the allegations against the man were not directly connected to Savile.

Harris, who lives in Berkshire and turned 83 on March 30, has been a British entertainment stalwart for decades. He has had musical hits with "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" — which he once performed with The Beatles — and "Two Little Boys."

He also has hosted television shows, painted an official portrait of the queen for her 80th birthday in 2006, and performed at the monarch's Diamond Jubilee concert last year.

A dozen people have been arrested as part of the Yewtree investigation, including former pop star Gary Glitter and celebrity publicist Max Clifford. Former chauffeur David Smith, 66, is the only person to have been charged.

© 2014 Star Tribune