'King of Spin' Max Clifford dies in UK jail

Clients included OJ, David Beckham, The Beatles

By HILARY CLARKE AND LAUREN KENT, CNN
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Publicist Max Clifford arrives to be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on May 2, 2014, in London.

(CNN) - Max Clifford, the UK's best-known celebrity publicist whose clients included OJ Simpson, has died in prison aged 74, the UK's Ministry of Justice told CNN.

"As with all deaths in custody there will be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman. Our condolences are with Mr. Clifford's family at this difficult time," the ministry said in a statement. The cause of Clifford's death was "not self-inflicted" the statement said.

Nicknamed the "King of Spin," Clifford was jailed for eight years in 2014 after being convicted of a series of indecent assaults on teenage girls.

He was the first person to be convicted in an investigation into sex abuse allegations against the late British TV presenter Jimmy Savile.

Clifford denied 11 accusations of sex abuse dating from 1966 to 1985, calling his arrest and prosecution "a nightmare" and declaring his innocence.

But according to media reports prosecutors portrayed him as an expert manipulator, vowing to help victims' careers and introduce them to celebrities for sexual favors.

During his decades-long career, Clifford represented some of the top names in showbiz, politics and sport.

They included OJ Simpson, X Factor judge Simon Cowell, UK footballer David Beckham and even the music group The Beatles when he began his career in the 1960s with the record label EMI.

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