My 32 years with Jimmy Savile: Disgraced star's PA brands him a manipulative bully who thought he was untouchable.
Jimmy Savile’s former PA last night branded the disgraced TV star a manipulative bully who was sly enough to cover his tracks during his sick campaign of abuse against young girls.
And Janet Cope told how the predatory paedophile had an explosive temper that terrified everyone from hospital staff to fundraisers.
The 70-year-old spent 32 years as Mrs Fix-it to Savile, becoming one of his closest confidantes.
Janet initially stuck by him when the allegations of his perverted past surfaced.
But as the trickle turned to a torrent, she conceded that even she may have been duped.
And she pointed to his explanation about why he avoided public speaking or appearing on quiz shows as evidence of the shrewdness that helped him get away with his vile antics.
Janet said: “He told me, ‘Never risk being caught out. Always ensure that you’re in total control of any situation’.
“Sadly, the evidence against Jim does seem a bit overwhelming and, really, I’m at a loss for words.”
But she also declared that if Savile were alive today he would have somehow “wriggled out of it”.
She added: “That’s what he did. He thought he was untouchable because he was hand in glove with the hospitals, royalty and the Prime Minister.”
And Janet said her former boss, who walked her down the aisle at her wedding, was capable of fooling everyone from the top brass at the BBC to legions of star-struck fans.
She revealed he was totally without emotion, did not care if he hurt others and loved wielding power.
Janet told how he cruelly fired her without warning, despite her loyal years of cooking, cleaning and running his diary.
She admitted if the allegations against him were proven, she would be shocked, disappointed, saddened and, above all, surprised by his duplicity.
She said: “On the face of it, Jim led a celibate, nomadic and simple life which may have disguised a more sordid double life.
“I don’t know, but he was clever enough to believe he’d get away with it, and if he did, he fooled me and many others.
“He was always photographed with what he called dolly birds because he was terrified of growing old or being seen as old. Image was vital to him.
“He was like Peter Pan, forever surrounding himself with youngsters. It was his elixir.
“Every time he did an interview or a public appearance, I was there.
“I even drove behind him when he was running marathons and fans were running to him for an autograph.
“He was a very, very clever man and if he could keep something like that covered up he was even more clever than I gave him credit for.
“And it bothers me now because we rubbed along together for so many years, getting things done together.”
Flickers of Janet’s loyalty to Savile remain as she still has doubts over whether he would put his carefully-constructed public image at risk.
But she decided to reveal hidden dark aspects of the sex fiend’s life, as the Met Police investigate hundreds of lines of inquiry against him spanning 60 years.
Working from an office at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where patients have since alleged they were abused, Janet was at Savile’s beck and call and said answering him back would have been “more than my life was worth”.
She said: “He was eccentric, manipulative, controlling. I was frightened to death of him and I wasn’t the only one.
“He loved the power he had over other people. Power was important to him.
“He didn’t care if he upset people. Jim had no feeling, no emotions at all.
“He was a little bit distressed when his mother died but that was the only time I ever saw any emotion. Nothing could hurt him.”
To illustrate his controlling ways, Janet told how Savile lit up a cigar in her newly-painted front room despite her asking him not to so the smell he knew she despised would linger.
He also kept an old school bell on his desk to get her attention. And she would have to ring her own, smaller, bell back to acknowledge him every time.
When she opened office windows to clear his smoke, he bellowed: “Close them, I say when the windows should be closed, no one else does.”
And if dinner was set for one time, he would turn up at another so he was in control of what others were doing.
And Janet revealed how she was humiliated when Savile publicly sacked her during a packed meeting with doctors and administrators at Stoke Mandeville in 2001, with two terse words.
As she sat at a table preparing to take notes, he blurted out: “She’s out.”
She recalled: “He said he was replacing me with a management team, but that never happened. It was just his excuse.” He told tearful Janet: “Today’s today, tomorrow’s tomorrow, I’ve got a train to catch.”
Janet, who at first accused Savile’s victims of being money grabbers, said she never saw him misbehave.
But she spoke of his terrible anger. She added: said: “He had such a temper that manifested itself in the end.
“He once asked me to write a letter firing someone from the Jimmy Savile Trust but as he was coming to the hospital the next day I suggested he do the firing himself, in person. He went ballistic.
“He hid behind people when he wanted to get something his own way.”
And the former PA told how he was wary of being invited to speak at Oxford and Cambridge Unions, for fear of being trapped by awkward questions.
Over the years Janet, of Aylesbury, Bucks, accompanied Savile “everywhere”, meeting other celebs and royalty including Prince Charles and Diana.
She went along to the PM’s country home Chequers for drinks and was taken into Broadmoor, where her boss had a set of keys and a house in the grounds, to watch the patients’ Christmas panto.
But after she was fired, their relationship turned sour. He paid her £1,500 compensation and the two never spoke again.
Janet said she will now be watching how the scandal unfolds.
But she added: “All this has tarnished the memories I have.
“But I am a woman who requires proof and until the proof is shown to me, I will always keep an open mind.”