September 21, 2020

2003-01-12 – The Observer

2003 01 12 The_Observer_Sun__Jan_12__2003

The Observer 12 January 2003

I want to
Clear my

PeteTownshend has shOcked the world V .
by ‘outin'g’ himselfas the’cel'ebrity at the
centre of a police paedophile inquiry.

By Vanessa Thorpe and Martin BrIght

A BRIGHT winter sun shone
down yesterday morning on
the fmnt duo: of the London
mansion called the Wick.
Worth £3 miIIion, the house
in Richmond was farmerly
the home of the actor Sir
John Mills and was once
owned by Ronnie Wood o'ithe
Rolling Stones. -

The Imposing brick build-
ing — with spectacular views
of the Thames, and opposite
an equally impressive house
belonging to Mick Jagger —
was a fitting setting for an
extraordinary incident in the

life of one of Britain’s best '

known and most troubled
rock Stags who ‘outed‘him-

pohoe paedophiha Inquiry.
Standingon his (I rstep,a

Mail ran a front page head:
line, ‘Rock star Bumhshell. ‘
without naming Tewnshe'nd,
Fleet Street blizzed with
rumours that it was the Who
star. '

- To the astonishment oi the

lI-eporteIs camped outside his H

home,‘vhe emerged shortly

' hefureneon andlannouncerl

he was the ‘legendary British)
rock star’ in question, but
said he Was emphaticallyfnot
a paedophile I think pae-
‘dophiiiais appa] '
Townshend‘said ‘I have
been writing my childhood
autnbiography for the past
sevenyears. I believe I was
sexually abused between the
age oifive and strand ahalf
when in the care efmy mater- ‘

~ nal grandmother who was‘

mentallyiliat thetime.Icah-.
not remember clearly what
happened. but my creative

’ work tends to throw up nasty

shado'ws, panicularly in

rafommyihis‘mck'gperalzvnp
‘Some ofthethin'gs I have ,

he mteme have’

make dear to the public that
if I have any compulsions in
this area, they are to {ace

1 .What is happening to young
.tLhiIdI'en in the world today

and t_o trytodea! open] th
Emy anger and veng ance. ‘ ,
' towards the mentally ill peo-

ple who find paedophilic

' pornography attractive.

‘I predictedmanyyeaxsago

that-wl-Iat has become the '
internet week] he used to sub ‘
ve'I-t, pervert and destroy the

lives nfdecent people. I he

:felt for a long time that' Is, '

part of my duty. knowing
whati know, tn act as a vigi-
lante to help support organi-
sations ‘ like the internet
Watch, Fqundatian, the
NSPCC and Scotland Yard to
build up a pnwert'ul and well-
informed .voice to speak
loudly about the millions of
dollars heing made by Ameri-
can banks and credit card
companies for the pornogra-
phy dilstry I

That industry deliberately

see!_1( on»

Y ' lIlIen. I have, to
the co‘nham I: II shocked, aneg

‘ ahoilt the explosion ofadvertisefl
paedon in Images on the internet.

I have heeiI writing mychildhood autnhing-
raphyforthe past sevenyears. I helieve I ms
sexually abused hetwe'eh the age of five and six
and a half when' In the tan! of my maternal
grandmother who was mentally ill at the time.
I rannot remember clearly what happened, but
my creative work tends to throw up nasty shatt-
nws—‘- p'artimlarly' In Ihmmy.

Some ofthe things I have seen on the net
have inionned my hook which I hope will he
puhlisheI! later this year, and which will make
elm that if I have any compulsions in this
area. theyare to lace what is happening tn
young children inithe world today and to try to
deal openly with my anger and vengeance
towards the mentally ill people who find pae-
dophilic oornneiallhy attractive.

I predicted nIa'nyyeaI's ago that what has
become the internet would he used to subvert,
pervert and destroy the lives of decent people.

I have felt lnr a long time that it' Is part of my
duty, knowing what I know. to actas a vigi-
lante to help support organi ’nns like the
Internet Watch Founflation, the Mspcc and
Scotland Yard tit build up a hmrfnl, well-
informed voice to speak loudly about the mil-
lions being made by US banks and credit card

‘ do not. I do
lavailahle

I whatis legal andwhat is
illegalyand difierent'wunu'ies
have different laws and moral
values about this Ida not Ida

‘ ‘ t
companies forthe pornography industry. That
industry delibemtely hints what' Is legal and
what' Is illegal; amt different countries have
different laws and moral values about this. I
want child mmegmphyto he
ternet anywhere at any time. '
(In one as I1 I used a credit card to “enter
a site advert ng child porn I did this ourelyto
see what was there. I spoke Intonnallytn a ‘
Iriend who was a lawyer and reported what I'd.
seen.
I have enclosed mywehsit :Ie about my
friend Jenny Who commit [sin] 5 lie because
of sexual abuse she suffered as [a] child
I hope you will he able to see I am sInce Iy
disturbed by the sexual abuse of children, and
I am very active trying to help individuals who

' have suffered, and to prevent further abuse.

In earlier remarks, Townshend said: ‘Te
tight against paednphilia, you have to know
what’s out there. I have done a lot of work an
naeflophilia and my website has highlighted.
it.

‘I have looked into the abuse that children .
have suffered in Chechnya and Kosovo and the
portrayal of these children on the internet and '
it annals me. I was worried this might happen
and I thinkthis could he the most damaging
thing to my career. ’

He sail! he was interested' ll‘l adult
porn, adding: ‘I’ve alwws been into
pornography and II have used it all
my life. I'm going to talk to my
lawyers to see what happens next.

not want child' pemugmphy

tube available on the interI-Iiet

anywhere at any tim ’ ’2
After making hI state»

IntentA and claimi g he mm

told police of his research,
Town head was. “drivé’h
quickly away Horn the hens
by ' a’ chauffeur;I having
promisedhis fans:‘1am not a
paedophile. [want to clear my
uame’,‘ and saying he was

, goingtospeaktohissoljcitor
The 57- -yeaI' 1d guita -‘

still best known as the com—
poser of Tommy. which is
about a gifted disabled boy
who is abused, has battleif
throughoutifiswyearmreer
with a hut temper and an
addiction to drugs and drink.

In 1982 he gave up alcohol
but at 'mpted to retur
social drinking in 1993, th
disastrous results He has
described that year as 'a
period of insanity’ in which
he thavelied constantly and
developed Iran Man, the chil-
dren's musical he Wrote with
the late poetiiau‘reate, Ted
Hughes.

Six years later Townshend
announced a split with
Karen, his wife of 31 years. An
educationalist, she and Town-
shend have two adult daugh-
ters and a younger son. Their
long marriage had simply
fallen apart. he said then. .

Attempts to rebuild it had
werenot helped by his four-
year affair with a fashion
journalist, Lisa Marsh, 36.
Townshend left the family
home in Twickenham for
neighhotlringRichmond, but
he remains married.

The musician has spoken
before of the part of his
childhood he was forced to
spend with his grandmother

in Bmadstairs, Kent. After 18
months he was allowed to
return to his parents‘ home;
‘It gave me the unfortunate

ideaIcould w
_ 3m.

hen Ife g'ets difficIiI my
'ilI' t‘d‘ h'eliei/e I

can run away.’

‘ 13:"va l” Imp 3mm

r‘l'l‘ownshend’si name was
made public as a result of
Operation Ore, the largest
investiga 'on into pae-
fldphllés’d‘ '

Scotland Yard d tails of 7‘ 200
subs'b'rih ’1 ijfiifl
child po' hi‘tEi‘fIii’Ii‘rdhi

Peter nennis Blandfoni Townshend. born In
1945 In London, started out playing hanjoln a
Dixieland hand in 1959 with Jnllll Entwistle.
later switchan to guitar. They endeIi up In

Roger Daltrey's hand The Detours, playing
around London clubs in the early 19605.

I In 1953 the group landed a recon! mn-

Imct and changed their name to the ngh
Numbers, recruiting Keith MaonJ‘hey ' '
changed the name again to The WIIII (above). ,
D In 1965 the band released three UK top 10
singles, Iwn written by Townshend: ‘I Can
Exolain‘, ‘Anyway Anyhow Anywhere' (co-writ-

I tenwith Dalhey) and ‘My Generation'.

t In May 1969 'nIe Who released their first
double alhum,_1bminy. Townshend wrote

‘ nearly all the songs. The hand Ielea d

fleadrophenla In 1973, again mainly written
by Thwnshend} and It remains his most ambi-
.. ous statement. Later albums failed to

rattmvt the same following, and Iownshend

came under pressure. He began to suffer I ,
from tinnitus, hmnght alinut hyyears m ’
exposure to mild music.

)‘l‘he death of drummer Keith Moon in 1978
mm a dme ovenlose' leii toTuwnshemt's
worsening hinges on drugs and alcohol. In
thesaxheyearthedefithoflliansatawm-
ncert In clntlnnatl, Ohio, Ilwastated Town-
shenIl, leading to an ovenlose on herein and
alcohol. He barely survived the incident.

b He mauled In 1966 and had two children,
but his battles with alenllol hmlIe up his fam-
ily. lie was later reconciled wlth his wife,
Karen, and they had another child' In 1990.
,> TownshenIl, pictured above wlth’Nnel
Gallagher, nominees to oertonn. -

Texas. An investigation by here’, gave access to other

the US Postal Inspection Ser-
vice, Operation Avalanche,

sites with titles such as Cyber
Lolita, I Am 14 and Child

led to the Fort W0 h man- Rape. These showed the

sion of Th6 ‘

ire

th We b'
site. uiarkedWH

mfde l abuse ofcaptive childreitJlE

pt _ I ,
btii‘n; uatiuyeariih‘gmim‘w