Pete Townsend speaks about scandal from 2003

Pete Townsend has spoken out about the child pornography scandal that engulfed him in 2003.

The Who guitarist and song-writer says his decision to investigate child pornography was a product of “white knight syndrome, an attempt to be seen to be the one that’s helping”.

“I had experienced something creepy as a child, so you imagine…what if I was a girl of nine or 10 and my uncle had raped me every week? I felt I had an understanding and I could help.”

Townshend, who is the founder of sexual abuse charity Double O, said he paid a $10 charge to a child pornography site, which he cancelled straight away, to expose the financial chain of child abuse from Russian orphanages. When police discovered the files, he was cautioned and placed on the sex offenders register for five years after he admitted to breaking the law.

“What I did was insane,” he added, adding that he never spoke out “because there was no sense of ‘truth will out’. I’ve had the misfortune to read online comments where I’ve been judged as a paedophile because I’ve got a big nose.”

Townshend’s long-awaited memoir, “Who I am”, was published last month.

by Wallace McTavish

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