Townshend: ‘I would have shot myself’ over child porn

October 4, 2012

Who guitarist Pete Townsend has admitted he considered suicide in the aftermath of his 2003 child porn scandal.

In his autobiography, Who I Am, he says he paid to download images in an “insane” attempt to prove there was a connection between banks and the illegal industry.

After admitting spending $14 on media displaying abused children, the guitarist was given an official police warning and placed on the UK’s sex offender list.

He says: “It’s white knight syndrome – you want to be the one that’s seen to be helping.”

Townshend explains he was himself a victim of sexual abuse when he was young, continuing: “I had experienced something creepy as a child. So you imagine, ‘What if I was a girl of nine or ten, and my uncle had raped me every week?’ I felt I had an understanding and I could help.”

He reports the police gave him half an hour to decide whether to go to court over the incident, and he decided against it. “I think I was exhausted,” he says. “My lawyers were as surprised as I was because everyone thought I would be let off.

“I thought if I went to court they would fucking rip me apart. If I had a gun I would have shot myself. It really did feel like a lynching.”

Who I Am features Townshend’s telling of events in his life from the formation of the Who in 1962 until recent times. It includes his first meeting with Keith Moon, an argument with Jimi Hendrix at Monterey and his potential sexual interest in Mick Jagger, which led him to recommending to his bandmates that they arrange their “equipment” inside their trousers for maximum effect during photoshoots. He also discusses his fears and doubts over being a father, life partner and performer.

The book is published on October 8.

-Classic Rock Magazine

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