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Clifford admits affairs but denies interest in children

CELEBRITY agent Max Clifford had a string of affairs and went to steamy parties but never forced women or girls into sex, a jury has heard.

The 70-year-old, who is accused of 11 counts of indecent assault on seven alleged victims, laid bare details of his love life as he gave evidence in his defence at Southwark Crown Court yesterday.

Sitting in the witness box, the PR guru told the jury he had sex in his New Bond Street office but only with a woman he was having an affair with. Mr Clifford, from Hersham in Surrey, said he had a relationship with an employee and because so many other people in his industry were also having affairs it seemed "natural".

He told the court: "As and when and if something happened in the office it would have been very very occasional, spontaneous, after work with the doors locked. We went to hotels and motels, we went abroad ... it was a relationship.

"Did I ever have sex in my office? Yes, but with someone I was having an affair with."

He said he knew the relationship was "morally wrong" but he did not think he would be found out.

Mr Clifford said he had affairs with four women.

He told the court that if a woman had offered sex to him in the 1970s and 1980s she had "probably offered the same to everybody else".

"One, I didn't need it," he said. "Secondly, it's not attractive. I had personal pride. Also, so many music acts, pop stars, had sexually transmitted diseases around that time.

"I didn't kid myself that the reason was that I was irresistible."

Asked by Richard Horwell QC, defending: "Have you ever had any sexual contact with a woman without consent?", Clifford replied "No."

He went on: "It would never have been of interest to me. I get more pleasure from a woman getting pleasure from sex than from me getting pleasure from sex."

Later, the barrister asked him: "Have you ever had a sexual interest in children?"

Mr Clifford said: "No, no. It is utterly revolting, utterly, utterly disgusting lies."

Mr Clifford denies all charges.

The trial was adjourned until today.

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