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Charity severs fund ties after Savile claims
A charity that raises money for sick children has severed all ties with disgraced former TV star Sir Jimmy Savile amid allegations the celebrity abused young girls.
The Bethany Hare Smile Foundation, set up by a 13-year-old schoolgirl from Horsforth, was one of the charities chosen to receive funding by the family of the presenter following his death.
The foundation, which helps children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses, was to have benefitted from the sale of the Savile’s biography and other events authorised by his family.
Shortly before his death last year, Savile revealed he had been following Bethany’s work and described her as “amazing”.
But as a torrent of claims about Savile’s alleged sex abuse crimes emerged around the country, the recently-formed foundation has acted swiftly to cut any connection to the celebrity, dubbed a “predatory sex offender” by police.
In a statement, the foundation said: “Due to the serious allegations being made against the late Jimmy Savile, and in respect to public opinion, The Bethany Hare Smile Foundation has immediately discontinued any connection with Jimmy Savile. “No money from the sale of Jimmy Savile’s biography has been received by the Bethany Hare Smile Foundation, and we would also like to clarify that Bethany Hare never met or spoke to Jimmy Savile. The charity was chosen by the family of Jimmy Savile following his death.”
Bethany Hare has already raised thousands of pounds for Martin House Hospice by releasing a video of herself singing Charlie Chaplin’s Smile. She went on to organise fund-raising Walks of Smiles, attracting support from a number of celebrities and hundreds of other people. Bethany, who has won a string of national accolades for her work, met with relatives of Jimmy Savile earlier this year after the DJ’s family decided to give donations to her foundation and to the Little Sisters of the Poor in Headingley. Earlier this year, Bethany’s mum Yvonne revealed the DJ had rung her home in August last year.
“He told me he had watched Bethany’s Charlie Chaplin-style fundraising film and read all about her, and that he thought she was an amazing little girl,” she said.