British entertainer Michael Barrymore has reportedly been exonerated by police nine years after his arrest on suspicion of murder over a 2001 death at his home.
The former game show host, 64, was arrested and detained for 36 hours in 2007, six years after Stuart Lubbock, 31, was discovered floating in the pool at Barrymore's home in Hertfordshire, England.
Lubbock, who was found after a party at the residence, had ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol in his blood and was found to have suffered injuries consistent with sexual assault.
In addition to the murder charge, Barrymore was also accused of sexual assault, but police investigators dropped the case after three months due to insufficient evidence.
In 2013, Barrymore issued a writ against Essex Police, seeking damages for harm to his reputation and career, which have never recovered.
But papers submitted to Britain's High Court earlier this month (Oct16) and now obtained by editors at the Daily Mirror newspaper, reportedly show police chiefs have accepted they are liable for damages by signing an agreement with Barrymore's lawyers, indicating that they admit he was wrongfully arrested.
In the wake of his apparent exoneration being revealed, Barrymore has been responding to well-wishers on Twitter.
To one woman named Sheila he wrote, "Thank you Sheila; so many will be happy, I know for me and for staying with their belief of me has been vindicated. Thank you so much."
He told other followers he would comment further when more details of the case became public.
The legal papers reportedly indicate Barrymore is seeking at least £25,000 ($35,500) in damages as he alleges police did not have reasonable grounds for arresting him and that the harm to his reputation was aggravated by officers refusing to apologise after they dropped the case against him.
Police chiefs had previously contested Barrymore's claim, stating he failed to, "Give a full or clear account of the events he witnessed and/or participated in at home on the night of Mr Lubbock's death."
Barrymore has always denied these claims, insisting he cooperated fully with the police investigation.
Speaking to the Mirror, Stuart Lubbock's father Terry, said, "This is not closure or justice for me. That will not come until I find out what really happened to my son."
He added, "I hope this opens the case up again and people come forward. I will not give up fighting for justice for my son."
Despite the reported legal agreement, the case is still ongoing.
Representatives for Barrymore had not responded at the time of going to press, while a spokesperson for Essex Police told WENN, "As the matter remains in litigation and is in the hands of lawyers, further comment would not be appropriate."