[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 May 2006, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Gary Glitter denies abusing girls
Gary Glitter
Gary Glitter admits the future looks bleak

Disgraced pop star Gary Glitter has denied ever abusing underage girls and blamed the UK media for his downfall.

In his first interview since he was convicted of child sex abuse in March, he admitted letting a girl into his bed but said he knew "the line to cross".

Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was jailed for three years in Vietnam for molesting two girls aged 11 and 12.

He insisted he was confident of winning his appeal, set provisionally for 19 May in Ho Chi Minh City.

He is trying to minimise what he has done, but the girls gave a clear account of their experiences
Christine Beddoe
End Child Prostitution charity

The judge at his trial condemned his crimes in detail, but Glitter said he had not seen any evidence to support this and denied he had done anything wrong.

Asked if he had ever slept with an underage girl, he said: "Not to my knowledge that she's been underage. No, I have not. I know the line to cross."

But when asked if he was sure, he hesitated before replying: "It was only recently that I found out that underage is 18 in the country, OK, but I don't believe that I slept with anyone under 18."

GLITTER IN COURT
November 1999: Glitter admits possessing 4,000 photos of children being abused. Sentenced to four months in UK prison for 54 offences of downloading porn from the internet and placed on sex offenders register
April 2002: Questioned by Cambodian police after moving to the country. Government minister leads campaign to deport him as a "preventative measure"
December 2002: UK Foreign Office confirms Glitter has been detained in Cambodia over suspected sex offences. Deported but no specific reason is given and he later returns pending an appeal
March 2006: Jailed in Vietnam over child sex offences. Sentencing judge says: "His lewd acts have compromised the dignity of the Vietnamese people, law and common sense."

He also drew a distinction between having sex and sleeping with girls.

When asked if sleeping with an 11-year-old girl was alright, Glitter said: "I'm a father, so from time to time these things happen.

"Your daughter will come into your bed in the night because she's scared or something like that. This happened in this case over here. She was scared of ghosts, so under pressure I said OK."

Christine Beddoe, director of End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking (Ecpat), said the paedophile was trying to "minimise what he has done" but the girls he had molested had been quite clear in their accusations.

Glitter went on to blame the British media for him ending up in a Vietnam jail.

He described the press as the "worst enemy in the world", saying that they tracked him all over the globe after his conviction in the UK for downloading child pornography from the internet in 1999.

He said his troubles in Vietnam began when a newspaper journalist tracked him down to Vung Tau, where he is now imprisoned.

"I felt after I left prison in England that maybe there was a slim chance I could put my life back on track and have a career," Glitter said.

I'm not a paedophile - I came to Cambodia because I read a book about the Mekong
Gary Glitter

"But after some time, the people that surrounded me, lawyers etc and managers, said: 'We don't think so, as the media have already made such a big deal about this'."

He said he was "not a paedophile".

"I came to Cambodia because I read a book about the Mekong.

"I wanted to see if there was somewhere I could live, I love the sunshine, that's the very reason."

'History of child abuse'

He said he still envisaged going back to the UK, although he said he did not think about his future.

"The only thing I think about is trying to win the appeal and trying to put some honour and dignity back to my family, my friends and the fans who've supported me all this time."

Christine Beddoe, director of End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking (Ecpat), said: "His comments must be placed within the context of a much longer history of child abuse.

"He is trying to minimise what he has done, but the girls gave a clear account of their experiences.

"We need to make sure we do not minimise the evidence given by the victims in this case.

We hope the public's attention has been drawn to the issue of child sex tourism
Philippa Lei
World Vision

"We must allow children to tell their story and not just have the words of Gadd."

Philippa Lei, child rights policy adviser at World Vision UK, said the charity had welcomed Glitter's conviction because "it sends a strong prevention message to other people travelling abroad who may be tempted to engage in sexual activities with an underage child".

She said the government and tourism industry needed to provide more information about the penalties in other countries.

"We hope the public's attention has been drawn to the issue of child sex tourism as a whole," she said.

"We have anecdotal evidence that other British men are offending in this way."


SEE ALSO:
Profile: Gary Glitter
03 Mar 06 |  UK
Glitter to appeal over sentence
16 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Vietnam shows stance with Glitter case
03 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Glitter jailed for abusing girls
03 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Glitter charged with obscene acts
06 Jan 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Glitter police 'drop rape charge'
26 Dec 05 |  Asia-Pacific


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific