William Roache has apologised for his comments about sex abuse victims.

The 'Coronation Street' actor recently suggested in an interview with New Zealand's TVNZ he believes people who are mistreated are paying for their behaviour in ''previous lives'', but has since spoken out to express regret for his controversial opinions.

He said: ''I would never say that victims of sexual offences are in any way responsible for the abuse they have suffered and I offer my deepest apologies if anything I have said has been misunderstood in this way.

''I had no intention of causing any kind of distress as a result of my interview and I offer my utmost sympathies to anyone affected by sexual offences and paedophilia.''

An ITV spokesman has defended the star, stating: ''These were personal comments that Bill made for which he has apologised.''

The NSPCC have also spoken out in disgust, describing his ''bizarre comments'' as ''not helpful.''

As part of the interview, Roache referred to recent sex abuse scandals - such as his co-star Michael Le Vell being charged with 19 accounts of child sex offences - and claimed male celebrities sometimes find themselves ''trapped'' by adoring female fans.

In a moment reporter Garth Bray described as a ''spiritual mode'', the 80-year-old actor 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.''

Garth then asked him: ''To some people that sounds perhaps like you're saying victims bring things on themselves - is that what you're saying?''

To which Roache responded: ''No, not quite ... and yet I am, because everything that happens to us has been a result of what we have been in previous lives or whatever.''