THE WHO guitarist Pete Townshend has been arrested on suspicion of possession of child pornography, according to Scotland Yard. He has not yet been charged with a crime. The arrest comes after Pete, in a newspaper interview, invited police to come to his home and examine his computer, saying there would be no proof that he was actually in possession of any child porn.
Over the weekend, Pete admitted that he had used his credit card to access a child pornography web site, but he said he had done it because he believes he was sexually abused as a child, and was researching such abuse for a book he is writing. He also says he approached authorities a while back and told them he was planning to do research on the topic, and offered to work with them to warn people of online child porn.
In an interview with The Sun, Pete said, quote, "I have looked at child porn sites maybe three or four times in all, the front pages and previews. But I have only entered once using a credit card and I have never downloaded. With hindsight it was very foolish but I felt so angered about what was going on it blurred my judgement. I was not breaking the law at the time. This was in the winter of 1996/1997. It was then illegal to download, which I did not do, not to search and view. I did not think using a credit card was illegal either at the time. As a public figure I would never have given details had I known I would be breaking UK law."
Pete's bandmate Roger Daltrey has stepped up to defend Pete, and Pete says he's also received support from David Bowie, Bono and Jerry Hall.