Some 31 persons who claim that they were victims of former BBC host Jimmy Savile's sexual advances when they were children have filed lawsuits against the BBC and Savile's estate. Speaking to Britain's Guardian newspaper, lawyer Alan Collins of the Pannone law firm, who is handling the cases, said, We have prepared 31 claims so far but we are still speaking to other victims. The earliest claim concerns an alleged attack that took place in 1955; the most recent, in 2009. Savile died in November 2011 at the age of 84. Additional lawsuits against the BBC, the Savile estate, and the operators of various children's charities where various acts of sexual abuse by Savile allegedly took place are expected pending the outcome of criminal investigations that are currently being conducted. In a recent report, police said that as many as 450 persons had fallen victim to Savile during the course of his career, making him the most prolific sexual offender in British history. He has been accused of using his celebrity -- he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his charity work -- as a cover to perpetrate the alleged crimes, which purportedly took place in his dressing room at the BBC and at schools and hospitals that he helped support by staging fund-raising concerts and other affairs.
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