The revelations are sending shockwaves through the UK.
A famous British politician exposed as a paedophile, now shown to have had links to Madeleine McCann’s family and even owning a villa at the time in the very same complex where she went missing.
The stunning co-oincidences, exposed this week on British television, have prompted detectives searching for the little girl to probe further into the past of the well-known personality.
Sir Clement Freud Via Getty.
The politician and TV personality Sir Clement Freud, grandson of Sigmund Freud, who was this week exposed as a paedophile, had formed a close relationship with the parents of missing toddler Madeleine McCann.
Two women have claimed abuse at the hands of Freud, while they were children in a documentary that aired in the UK on Wednesday.
Freud befriended the family after Maddie went missing. Via IStock.
Freud, who died in 2009, was as senior figure in the Liberals.
The McCanns are reported to be “horrified” by the revelation and shocked to learn that Freud had a villa in the resort where Madeleine went missing.
Freud befriended the couple soon after Madeleine went missing
Mrs McCann wrote in her book they first met at lunch in July 2007, just two months after Maddie’s disappearance.
Freud, who had made his name in the UK doing dog food commercials, and is the father-in-law of Elizabeth Murdoch, had written Kate and Gerry McCann a letter saying he was "ashamed of the intrusion into your lives by our media" inviting them over with the promise "I cook decent meals".
They said that at first they thought it was a hoax, but the next day they turned up for lunch at Freud's villa with their children Sean and Amelie, and three other friends.
Kate and Jerry McCann. Via Getty.
Kate McCann said Freud had "razor-sharp intellect" as well as strawberry vodka and chicken risotto – "the best risotto we've ever tasted before or since".
He kept in touch with them and played host a second time weeks later.
In September 2007 when the McCanns were formally made suspects in Madeleine's disappearance, he again invited them over for a drink.
"It was so ordinary and comforting, a bit like going to see your grandad after a horrible day at school," McCann wrote.
"He gave me one of his looks and a giant glass of brandy, and managed to get a smile out of me with his greeting: 'So, Kate, which of the devout Catholic, alcoholic, depressed, nymphomaniac parts is correct?'"
"A couple of hours later, fortified by our brandies (it was my first-ever taste of the stuff), some useful snippets of advice and several amusing anecdotes, we left our friend feeling quite a bit better than we had when we'd arrived."
Kate McCann, mother of missing Maddie said Freud was like a granddad. Via Getty.
One of Freud’s victims, Vicky Hayes, who was groomed by Freud for years before he raped her as a teenager, said she was left with an "uneasy" feeling about Freud's motives in befriending the McCanns.
Ms Hayes told ITV News: "I read Kate McCann's book and was immediately upset and anxious that Clement Freud had invited the McCanns to his home.
"He was a private man, not the type to suddenly befriend a couple who had intense media attention. It really jarred with me, left me feeling very uneasy. He had a home in Praia da Luz, but why invite them and cook for them?”
Another woman, Sylvia Woosley, who first met Freud when she was 10 and was sent to live with him at 14, told ITV that he abused her for years.
A second woman, who wants to remain anonymous, claimed he abused her as a child and raped her when she was 18.
Ms Woosley says she was 10 and her family was living in the south of France when he first kissed her on the mouth.
She said he frequently molested her during the five years she lived with Freud and his wife in London, where she had been sent to live at 14 years old following the breakdown of her mother's marriage.
She said that when she was in her early 40s she confronted Freud at the House of Commons and asked why he had abused her.
She says he replied: "Because I loved you. You were a very sensual little girl."
Ms Hayes says she contacted police when she learnt that Freud had befriended the McCann’s because she thought it was strange but she never heard back from the.
Elizabeth Murdoch, who is married to Freud's son with Jill Freud at Clement Freud's funeral. Via Getty.
The Freud family says Sir Clement was in the UK at the time of Madeleine's disappearance in May 2007.
His widow, Jill Freud has apologised to the two alleged sexual abuse victims of her husband saying
“I am shocked, deeply saddened and profoundly sorry for what has happened to these women. I sincerely hope they will now have some peace.”
The task force investigating Madeleine McCann is now looking at the links.
For help: Lifeline 13 11 14. Kid's Helpline: 1800 55 1800. DV and Sexual Abuse hotline 27/4: 1800 737 732