Comedy legend Freddie Starr is found dead aged 76 at his Spanish home

Comedy legend Freddie Starr’s ‘naked’ body is found by carer on floor of Costa Del Sol bolthole where he has died aged 76

  • The 76-year-old was discovered dead on the floor of his £180,000 townhouse in Mijas, southern Spain
  • Police sources in the region said there was nothing to suggest the death of the comic was suspicious 
  • Starr bought a flat in Mijas, Costa Del Sol after fleeing Britain to escape a million-pound legal bill
  • He was disgraced after losing a court case against Karin Ward, 57, who said he put his hand up her skirt 

Shamed comedian Freddie Starr has been found dead at his Costa del Sol bolthole.

A carer dialled 999 after discovering the 76-year-old on the floor of his £180,000 townhouse in Mijas near Fuengirola.

Starr, who fled to Spain in July 2015 after a libel case loss against a woman who accused him of groping her when she was 15, was found around 3pm on Thursday.

It is not known at this stage exactly when Starr died, although the carer told police she saw him alive in the morning and she is understood to have returned to the property in the afternoon after failing to reach him on the phone.

A well-placed local source said he had been found naked on the floor inside his home in the hills above the popular holiday resort of Mijas Costa, which is between Fuengirola and upmarket Marbella. 

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Starr photographed at home with his second wife, Sandy, in 1974 who he married at the height of his fame. The couple had three children together.

Police sources said there was nothing to suggest the death was suspicious. Right: Starr posted a picture on Facebook in January alongside the caption ‘Diet going well!’

He moved into the townhouse around three years after leaving a nearby place where he first stayed after he quit Britain.

Neighbours at the complex said he had become a virtual recluse in recent months following years of ill health.

Police sources said there was nothing to suggest the death of the fallen comic, who suffered asthma and had a quadruple bypass following a heart attack in 2010, was suspicious.

An autopsy is expected to take place tomorrow at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Malaga to rule out the possibility it was the result of a crime.

Civil Guard officers were mobilised along with paramedics after the initial call from Freddie’s carer, although the first ambulance is believed to have taken some time to reach the scene.

A source at the equivalent of Spain’s 999 service said: ‘We responded to a call this afternoon from the carer of a 76-year-old man in the Mijas area of the Costa del Sol.

‘The woman said she had found the man and she was looking after him because he had been ill and said she thought he could be dead.

Police could not be reached for official comment.

It was revealed in 2016 that Freddie bought a flat in Mijas, Costa Del Sol after fleeing Britain to escape a million-pound legal bill, when he faced financial ruin after losing a court case against a woman who claimed he groped her when she was 15. 

Starr poses in London with British dance troupe Hot Gossip on the 27th March 1981

Freddie Starr pictured during his time on ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!’ in 2011. He famously withdrew for health reasons

Starr was pronounced dead at the age of 76 after a carer discovered him on the floor of his Costa Del Sol apartment

Freddie was facing ruin after losing a High Court case against 57-year-old Karin Ward, who claimed he had put his hand up her skirt when she was a teenager, before callously dismissing her as a ‘***less wonder’. 

But instead of paying around £1million to cover her legal fees and court costs as he was ordered to by the judge, Starr liquidated his assets and left the country.

He tried to sue Miss Ward, a victim of serial sex offender Jimmy Savile, for libel after she gave interviews saying she was ‘horribly, horribly humiliated’ by Starr.

She described him as having had ‘a very bad attack of wandering hands’ during the filming of an episode of TV show Clunk Click in 1974.

Starr claimed he had lost £300,000 in earnings as a result of the allegations. However, Mr Justice Nicol ruled that Miss Ward was telling the truth and dismissed the case last July.

Starr pictured at a restaurant in Marbella, Spain where he lived for several years before his death 

Starr initially insisted he had never met Miss Ward – then a 15-year-old pupil at Duncroft Approved School where Savile preyed on many of his victims – but footage emerged of her sitting behind him on the TV programme.

The comedian was arrested under Operation Yewtree but did not face charges. Miss Ward alleged that Starr had groped her bottom and tried to touch her chest.

She said: ‘I can remember Freddie Starr smelt extremely unpleasant and put me in mind of my stepfather.’

Starr denied all the claims and said in his witness statement: ‘I consider Jimmy Savile to be perverted if it is established the allegations against him are true. My wife was with me at that show. I had three lovely children. I don’t see how I could have acted so inappropriately.’

He added: ‘It just never happened. It was not in my moral compass. My moral compass will not allow me to do that.’

In 2015, speaking to The Mail on Sunday from his apartment in southern Spain, Starr admitted that he never had the money to pay Ms Ward’s costs – or his own. He had, he said, foolishly thought it would be a ‘slam dunk’ and he’d walk away with his name and reputation cleared. 

Left: One of Starr’s Facebook posts showing him with several cigarettes in his mouth, nose and ears. Right: Starr pictured in his final years

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    He insisted that he sued Ms Ward reluctantly and only to clear his name. ‘I never wanted anything from her. I didn’t want money. I didn’t want a penny off Karin Ward. 

    ‘I just didn’t want people thinking I was some kind of sick pervert. It’s important because I have an eight-year-old daughter, who I love to bits and I don’t want her to grow up thinking that I would ever have behaved so badly.

    ‘It was not my idea to take Karin Ward to court. The lawyer got in touch with me saying, “We’ll go to court and sort this mess out once and for all”.’

    ‘He said it would be a good way to clear my name. But after a while, he said, “She’s got nothing. You want nothing. What’s the point?” I told him to stop, but he said Karin Ward’s lawyers wanted £100,000 to end it.’

    Starr described the two years he spent under investigation by officers from Yewtree as a ‘living hell’. He blamed the police and zealous lawyers for encouraging ‘crazies’ to make wild accusations against celebrities from the Savile era.

    ‘What’s going on with the Yewtree investigation is like the Salem witch hunt,’ he says. ‘A generation of entertainers have been targeted by attention seekers and ambulance-chasing lawyers.

    ‘Cliff Richard and Paul Gambaccini are just three innocent people who, like me, were accused of wrongdoings and had their reputation tarnished when there was no real evidence.

    ‘They didn’t even know their accusers. At least I had a target and knew exactly what was being alleged. But it has ruined my life. There is no coming back from this. I’ve hit rock bottom. I used to earn £2 million a year, but I’ve not worked for five years and all I’ve got to live off is a small private pension. It gives me £1,200 a month. I’m living off that.’

    Accused: Ms Ward had said that Starr, a huge celebrity in the 1970s and a regular on primetime TV, shoved his hand up her skirt when she appeared on the BBC show Clunk Click in 1974 at the age of just 15

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