It's the story that has captivated the world since the disappearance of Maddie McCann on the evening of May 3rd 2007.
Now comes the chilling twist, as a well-known British broadcaster and politician has been exposed as a paedophile. He also owned a villa in the resort which Madeleine McCann went missing.
Sir Clement Freud was identified as a paedophile in a documentary in the UK this week.
Freud sexually abused girls as young as 10 for decades, according to the ITV documentary. His widow, Lady Freud, has apologised to his victims, saying she is “shocked, deeply saddened and profoundly sorry” for what her husband of 58 years did to them, according to The Telegraph.
Detectives investigating the disappearance of McCann, who was three when she went missing from the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal in 2007, have been alerted to the fact that Freud had a villa there.
To the McCanns’ horror, Freud befriended them in the wake of the disappearance, which made headlines around the world. The politician entertained the McCanns at his house and kept in contact by phone and email.
In her book, Madeleine, Kate McCann describes how Freud contacted the family two month after their daughter went missing and invited them to dinner.
Vicky Hayes, who was groomed by Freud for years before he raped her as a teenager, says that she read Kate McCann’s book and was “immediately upset and anxious” that Freud had reached out to the McCann family.
“It really jarred with me, left me feeling very uneasy.”