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 Saturday, 11 January, 2003, 17:03 GMT
Pete Townshend's statement in full
Pete Townshend
Pete Townshend says he may have been abused
Pete Townshend has admitted studying child pornography, to help his role as a "vigilante" fighting paedophilia.

The Who guitarist issued the following statement after a newspaper said an un-named musician was among people identified by US detectives investigating a pay-per-view web site.

I am not a paedophile.

I have never entered chat rooms on the internet to converse with children.

I have felt for a long time that it is part of my duty, knowing what I know, to act as a vigilante

I have, to the contrary, been shocked, angry and vocal (especially on my website) about the explosion of advertised paedophilic images on the internet.

I have been writing my childhood autobiography for the past seven years.

I believe I was sexually abused between the age of five and six-and-a-half when in the care of my maternal grandmother who was mentally ill at the time.

I cannot remember clearly what happened, but my creative work tends to throw up nasty shadows - particularly in Tommy.

'Anger and vengeance'

Some of the things I have seen on the internet have informed my book which I hope will be published later this year, and which will make clear to the public that if I have any compulsions in this area, they are to face what is happening to young children in the world today and to try to deal openly with my anger and vengeance towards the mentally ill people who find paedophilic pornography attractive.

I hope you will be able to see that I am sincerely disturbed by the sexual abuse of children

I predicted many years ago that what has become the internet would be used to subvert, pervert and destroy the lives of decent people.

I have felt for a long time that it is part of my duty, knowing what I know, to act as a vigilante to help support organisations like the Internet Watch Foundation, the NSPCC and Scotland Yard to build up a powerful and well-informed voice to speak loudly about the millions of dollars being made by American banks and credit card companies for the pornography industry.

That industry deliberately blurs what is legal and what is illegal, and different countries have different laws and moral values about this. I do not.

'Sincerely disturbed'

I do not want child pornography to be available on the internet anywhere at any time.

On one occasion I used a credit card to enter a site advertising child porn.

I did this purely to see what was there.

I spoke informally to a friend who was a lawyer and reported what I'd seen.

I hope you will be able to see that I am sincerely disturbed by the sexual abuse of children, and I am very active trying to help individuals who have suffered, and to prevent further abuse.

See also:

02 Jul 02 | Entertainment
28 Jun 02 | Entertainment
28 Jun 02 | Entertainment
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