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Corrie star responds to criticism on comments about sex abuse victims

Bill Roache said in an interview that everything that happens to people has been “as a result of what we have been in previous lives”.

File photo of Bill Roache
File photo of Bill Roache
Image: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated 5pm

CORONATION ST STAR Bill Roache has responded to the criticism of controversial comments he made about sex abuse victims.

He said today that he was talking about the idea of being innocent until proven guilty when he made the controversial comments to TV New Zealand.

This afternoon, Roache told Sky News that he doesn’t believe victims are to blame, and that if someone is a victim, the perpetrator should feel the full force of the law.

“I’m not blaming anybody for anything. But things were different back in the 70s,” he commented.

Interview

The 80-year-old actor made the comments in an interview with TV New Zealand’s One News. In the interview, which can be seen on the TVNZ.co.nz site, Roache was asked about the sex abuse charges against his co-star Michael Le Vell

“Everybody’s innocent until proven guilty,” said Roache.

“There’s a very complex situation here that was stirred up by the Jimmy Savile business,” continued Roache.

Paedophilia is absolutely horrendous, paedophiles should be sought out, rooted out and dealt with.

He described how he believed “there’s a fringe of people, particularly popstars, they have these groupies, these girls, who come, they’re sexually active, sexually mature, they don’t ask for their birth certificate, they don’t know what age they may be. But they’re certainly not grooming them and exploiting them, but they can be caught in this trap”.

These people are instantly stigmatised. Some will be innocent, some will not. But until such time as it’s proven there should be anonymity for both.

If someone has done something wrong, the law will take its course, he said, adding we should not go around condemning people. “If you accept that you are pure love and you know that you are pure love and therefore live that pure love, these things won’t happen to you,” he said.

When asked if he means that victims bring these things on themselves, he said “no not quite, and yet, yet I am”.

Everything that happens to us has been a result of what we have been in previous lives or whatever.

His comments have been criticised, with the Mirror newspaper reporting that Dr Jon Bird of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood called his claim “completely disgusting”.

Read: Corrie star makes first court appearance on child sex charges>

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