Jimmy Savile, the renowned British disc jockey and television personality whose reputation has been irrevocably sullied by myriad allegations of sexual abuse, has just received another blow.
The Guardian reports that new details have emerged regarding Savile’s relationship with the hospitals for which he fund-raised. Employees at Stoke Mandeville and Broadmoor hospitals, in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, respectively, are speaking up about Savile’s illicit use of hospital facilities and the “subtle bullying” he deployed to prevent authorities from taking action. Because of his generous charity work for the hospitals, and the resulting power it gave him, employees were reluctant to report his behavior for fear of losing his donations.
“Along with the power, people were afraid of Jimmy stopping raising money for the hospital. There was a fear of him taking something away. He argued that it was his and not theirs,” said Christine McFarlane, former director of nursing and patient care at Stoke Mandeville, in an interview with ITV.
The scandal surrounding Savile, who passed away last year, first arose early last month when an ITV documentary investigating claims of sexual abuse led to increased media attention and further allegations. Since then, the late icon – host of the long-running music program Top of the Pops and the charity show Jim’ll Fix It – has been systematically stripped of his physical and cultural legacy. Statues have been torn down, buildings renamed – even his gravestone has been removed and destroyed. The new charges from hospital employees are simply the latest in a growing number of damning accusations.
But perhaps what’s most shocking about the latest reports is that suspicions about Savile’s character arose nearly thirty years ago.
“A lot of the staff said he should be behind bars,” said Bob Allen, a former staff nurse at Broadmoor. Richard Harrison, a former psychiatric nurse, confirms separately: “I’d long considered him, as my colleagues did, as a man with a severe personality disorder and a liking for children.”