As allegations of sexual abuse against British TV star Jimmy Savile continue to mount, a bank has frozen the late BBC presenter’s $7 million estate pending possible legal action by his accusers. NatWest bank, the executor of Savile’s estate, has released a statement saying, “Given the claims raised, distribution of the estate has been put on hold.”
Once one of Britain’s biggest TV stars, Savile’s name has now become irrevocably linked with scandal. Ever since a commercial-television documentary in Britain outed the BBC presenter as an alleged pedophile last month, a steady stream of new victims has come forward. Scotland Yard has said they’re currently pursing 400 lines of investigation and believe Savile could have raped or molested hundreds of girls and several boys over the course of his career at the BBC.
Savile, who died last year — well before the allegations emerged — had, according to the Financial Times, willed that the majority of his assets be held by NatWest bank on behalf of the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust. Throughout his life, Savile was well known for his philanthropy, often turning up at hospitals and schools to donate funds or meet the patients — visits that in the current circumstances may have been opportunities for him to sexually abuse already vulnerable young girls.
Unsurprisingly, the scandal has cast a shadow over his charity work. On Oct. 23, the BBC reported that the trustees of both the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust and the Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust felt that the organizations couldn’t go on, and that the money would likely need to be directed to other charities. The trustees told the BBC that the charities wouldn’t be able to continue because they would “always be linked in the public’s mind with the late Jimmy Savile.”