Rolf Harris 'gravely ill' and receives '24-hour care as he battles neck cancer'

5 October 2022, 04:00

Rolf Harris
Rolf Harris. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Rolf Harris is said to be 'gravely ill' and receiving round-the-clock care as he battles neck cancer.

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The 92-year-old can no longer talk or eat while living at his Berkshire home with his wife, according to The Daily Telegraph.

"Only carers and nurses, who care for him 24 hours, come and go," one of his neighbours, Portia Wooderson, told the paper.

"I’m told he can’t eat anymore."

Private investigator and author William Merritt added: ‘[He’s] battling a cancer of the neck, and gargles when he talks.

"It’s difficult to understand him, but he is still the entertainer.

"As soon as one of two people walk into the room, he turns into a big kid again. He’s an artistic type, and he’ll try to perform on cue, even when he’s unwell."

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Earlier reports from 2019 suggested Harris’ health had "declined rapidly", with him only going out of the house with his carer.

He took a turn for the worse after the death of his poodle earlier this year, according to MailOnline.

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Harris was released from prison five years ago after serving three years of his five years and nine month sentence.

The entertainer had been found guilty of 12 counts of sexual assault, with one later being overturned.

Harris has not spoken publicly since his 2017 release from jail but released a statement in Mr Merritt's book Rolf Harris: The Defence Team's Special Investigator Reveals the Truth Behind the Trials.

"I understand we live in the post truth era and know few will want to know what really happened during the three criminal trials I faced – it's easier to condemn me and liken me to people like Saville and Glitter," he said.

"I was convicted of offences I did not commit in my first trial. That is not just my view but the view of the Court of Appeal who overturned one of my convictions.

"I had already served the prison sentence by the time of the appeal.

"I changed my legal team after the first trial, and I was told that if the truth was out there, William (Merritt) would find it and he did.

"The evidence he found proved my innocence to two subsequent juries.

"I'd be in prison serving a sentence for crimes I did not commit if it were not for William's investigation.

"It is difficult to put into words the injustice that I feel."