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A draft report into years of serial sexual abuse committed by entertainer Jimmy Savile has criticized the BBC's 'deferential' attitude toward its stars

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LONDON — A leaked draft report into serial sex abuse committed by the late Jimmy Savile condemns the BBC for having a "deferential culture" that allowed major entertainers to get away with violating the law.

The report made public Thursday says BBC allowed some of its top figures to act "above the law" without fear of being held responsible.

It also warns that another "predatory child abuser" could commit similar crimes today without being discovered.

The report is part of an official review by retired judge Janet Smith into Savile's checkered tenure with the BBC. Smith said the report, obtained by investigative news website Exaro, was an early draft.

BBC Director General Tony Hall said the BBC will act on the final report once it has been received. He called the Savile episode "a dark chapter in the history of the BBC."

He said the final report is likely to be released within six weeks.

Savile died in 2011. Since then, he has been accused of multiple sex crimes against children and categorized as one of Britain's worst sex offenders.

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