August 14, 2014 1:58 pm

Police search home of singer Cliff Richard as part of sex assault probe

Cliff Richard, pictured in November 2013.

Andreas Rentz / Getty Images

TORONTO — Police in the UK spent several hours Thursday inside the apartment of musician Cliff Richard as part of an investigation into a sexual assault dating back three decades.

According to a statement from South Yorkshire Police, Richard was not present. It is believed the 73-year-old singer is on vacation in Portugal.

Eight investigators executed the search warrant at the singer’s penthouse at about 9:30 a.m. local time.

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Police said they are acting on an allegation of a sexual assault on a boy under 16 in the 1980s. Several UK media outlets reported the alleged incident took place in 1985 during a rally by evangelist Billy Graham at a stadium in Sheffield.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Richard called the allegations “completely false.”

He added: “I will cooperate fully should the police wish to speak to me. Beyond stating that today’s allegations are completely false, it would not be appropriate to say anything further until the police investigation is concluded.”

Richard is the most successful British male solo artist ever, having sold an estimated 21.5 million singles. Knighted in 1995, he released his 100th album last year.

His songs include “Devil Woman” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore.”

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