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06/29/2014

Jimmy Savile and the Hospitals

This week, a report released by the British government details sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile and its relationship to NHS hospitals.  Remarkably, the blockbuster entertainer went decades escaping investigation.  Even in his later years when he faced some scrutiny, Savile was never prosecuted for any crime.  However, in the three years since his death in 2011 at the age of 84, a ghastly picture of abuse has been uncovered.  And much of it is tied to his charity work with hospitals.

Most notably, Savile’s abuse appears to be tied to that of doctors at Stoke Mandeville, a British hospital which benefited from £40 million of fundraising from Savile.  One doctor, pediatrician Michael Salmon, served three years in jail after admitting to assaulting two girls.  Another doctor said of Savile:

“We all knew [Savile] because he was such a presence at Stoke Mandeville.  I personally had no inkling about Savile’s behavior.  This was all as much as a surprise to me as anyone else.  He wasn’t a person I was mad about but he was a philanthropist and he was responsible for getting an enormous amount of money for the hospital.  He would come into the wards, and I never saw a problem with him doing so—all the doctors knew him.  I am absolutely shocked by all of this.”

For Further Study

Laura Smith-Spark, “Rapes, abuse, possible necrophilia: DJ Jimmy Savile’s hospital horrors detailed,” CNN, June 26, 2014.

Sandra Laville and Lisa O’Carroll, “Jimmy Savile inquiry looking at alleged sexual abuse by three doctors,” The Guardian, October 24, 2012.

“NHS and Department of Health Investigations into Jimmy Savile,” Department of Health, Government of the United Kingdom, June 26, 2014.

Edward Malnick, “Jeremy Hunt Apologises for Jimmy Savile’s ‘Sickening’ Abuse in Hospitals,” The Telegraph, June 26, 2014.

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