Terry Hall of the band The Specials has revealed that he was kidnapped by a paedophile ring at just 12-years-old.
The singer, now 59, said the abduction led him to suffer from depression and substance abuse immediately after and for decades as an adult.
Hall said he was abused by a group of men over the course of several days in the 1970s. Following the ordeal he sought medical help for anxiety and quickly became addicted to valium.
He then began playing truant at school regularly and just two years later, at 14-years-old, he dropped out of school completely.
He recalled the harrowing event on Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast and said the ordeal was a ‘real eye-opener.’
“At 12 I got abducted by a paedophile ring in France and that was a real eye-opener. And I can laugh about it now but it sort of switched something in my head and it’s like I don’t have to do that and that’s when I started like not listening to anyone.”
Stand-up comedian and podcaster Herring asked if this was the reason Hall left school early.
“I was sort of drugged up then on Valium for about a year and I didn’t go to school,” Hall replied.
“I find it quite easy to forgive and forget. It’s like, you know, going back to my abduction, it’s like you can let that eat away at you but then well you know it’s paedophilia and it’s like part of life really.
“It’s unfortunate it happened to me but you can’t just let it destroy your life, it’s not good,” he continued.
“How do you even begin to overcome something like that?” Herring asked.
“Valium. And then I fancied David Essex which was a bit wonky, but it was like, so I kind of connected the two. But then I’ve started discovering girls and you just forget about it, it’s too short,” Hall replied.
Herring went on to argue that suffering from depression can sometimes help comedians be funny, to which Hall agreed in relation to his own musical career:
“It helps, I mean I suffer from manic depression and avoided all sorts of medication for a long time, then 10 years ago I started taking Lithium and stuff and I’m still on these drugs. And it sort of helps, it sort of helps.”
After leaving school Hall went on to join several bands, before making it big time as a member of The Specials, which he joined in 1977.
The Specials hits include ‘Gangsters,’ ‘Ghost Town,’ and ‘Free Nelson Mandela.’