Sex abuse victims being punished for previous sins, says Bill Roache – Daily TV round-up

Ben Arnold
Yahoo! TV News

Coronation Street's William Roache has caused outrage after claiming that victims of sexual abuse are being punished for sins in previous lives.

He has also come to the defence of stars who have been accused of sexual abuse, saying that some of them have been 'caught in a trap'.

The 80-year-old actor, who is a key figure in a spiritual organisation called the Pure Love Movement, which claims that love can cure illness, made the remarks during an interview with the One News channel in New Zealand.

Speaking to interviewer Garth Bray, he said: “If you accept that you are pure love, and if you know that you are pure love and therefore live that pure love, these things won’t happen to you.”

Bray then asked Roache: “To some people that sounds perhaps like you’re saying victims bring things on themselves – is that what you’re saying?”

To which Roache replied: “Not quite, but then yes I am, because everything that happens to us has been a result of what we have been in previous lives.”

[Related story: Bill Roache talks to dogs on This Morning]

He then went on to talk about stars who have been accused of committing sexual abuse.

“Paedophilia is absolutely horrendous,” he said. “Paedophiles should be sought out, rooted out and dealt with.

“But there’s a fringe of people who, particularly pop singers, 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.”

But Roache, who has previously claimed to have slept with over 1000 women, added that people, whether they are guilty of such crimes or not, should be forgiven.

“Whether they’re proven guilty or not, we should not be judgmental about anybody, ever,” he went on.

“If somebody has done something wrong then the law will take its course, but even so all of us, whatever whether they’re proven guilty or not – we shouldn’t go around condemning, unforgiving. We should always be totally forgiving about everything.”

Dr Jon Bird of the National Association of People Abused in Childhood told the Daily Mirror: “This claim is completely disgusting, and on a deeply personal level I am both hurt and offended – as I am sure many other victims will be.

“I have spent years undergoing therapy trying to come to terms with what happened to me, while he has enjoyed the privileged life of a well-paid television actor on 'Coronation Street'.

“Mr Roache has belittled the hurt and pain of others without any understanding of the circumstances himself. He should be ashamed of himself.”

Roache has become increasingly vocal about his spiritual views in recent years.

“The earth will continue to cleanse itself while material and negative things will collapse and cease to be,” he said last year, after claiming the world was approaching a new 'golden age'.

“The energy and light of the Creator is love. Love is the life force, it is everything, it is the law of attraction. “I have always known that there are beings around me, loving and guiding, and never more so than now.” [Daily Mirror]

Also in today's press

Andrew Lloyd Webber has said he tried to produce his West End-theme talent shows like 'How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?' with Simon Cowell. “I remember this conversation I had with Simon in Barbados... if we could do something,” he said. “That went nowhere.” [The Sun]

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville took to Twitter to have a pop at Rowan Atkinson's Red Nose Day sketch in which he played the new Archbishop of Canterbury. “Had to go out after Rowan Atkinson's 'shagging' sketch taking the p**s out of the CofE. Was there a funny one about Islam later on? #rnd,” he wrote. [Twitter]

Sharon Osbourne is said to be a 'dead cert' to return as a judge on 'The X Factor', after other potential star Mel B signed up to another series of 'Australia's Got Talent' with Dawn French. It's thought that Sharon is set to pinch Tulisa's chair on the panel. [The Sun]