Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris is reportedly battling neck cancer and unable to eat or talk, as friends say he has declined since his release from prison.

The 92-year-old, who was convicted on 12 counts of indecent assault against teenage girls, is being fed by a tube and lives with his wife of 64 years, Alwen Hughes, who has Alzheimer’s Disease.

The couple are said to rarely leave their home in the village of Bray in Berkshire, about 50km outside of London.

Neighbour Portia Wooderson told the Daily Telegraph: “Only carers and nurses, who care for him 24 hours, come and go. I’m told he can’t eat anymore.”

William Merritt, a private investigator and author, told the Daily Mail that Harris was “gravely sick”.

“[He’s] battling a cancer of the neck, and gargles when he talks. It’s difficult to understand him, but he is still the entertainer,” Mr Merritt said.

“As soon as one of two people walk into the room, he turns into a big kid again. He’s an artistic type, and he’ll try to perform on cue, even when he’s unwell.”

Harris was imprisoned in 2014 for five years and nine months but was released in 2017 on licence.

Though he hasn’t spoken publicly since his release, the entertainer shared a statement in Rolf Harris: The Defence Team’s Special Investigator Reveals the Truth Behind the Trials, a book recently released by Mr Merritt.

“I understand we live in the post truth era and know few will want to know what really happened during the three criminal trials I faced – it’s easier to condemn me and liken me to people like [Jimmy] Saville and [Gary] Glitter,” his statement read.

“I was convicted of offences I did not commit in my first trial. That is not just my view but the view of the Court of Appeal who overturned one of my convictions. I had already served the prison sentence by the time of the appeal.

“I changed my legal team after the first trial, and I was told that if the truth was out there, William [Merritt] would find it and he did. The evidence he found proved my innocence to two subsequent juries.

“I’d be in prison serving a sentence for crimes I did not commit if it were not for William’s investigation. It is difficult to put into words the injustice that I feel.”

Of the 12 convictions, one has since been overturned, though he was stripped of many of his honours in the wake of the charges, including his Order of Australia and British CBE.

Image: Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.