The Coronation Street actor William Roache has caused anger and outrage with his suggestions, in an interview, that victims of sexual abuse may have brought the abuse on themselves (in a previous life) and suggesting that some famous people who have sex with underage ‘groupies’ do so because they have been ‘caught in a trap.’ The comments came after Roache was asked his opinion on fellow Corrie actor Michael LeVell's recent arrest for child sex offences.

In the controversial interview, with New Zealand’s One News channel, the 80 year old actor, who plays the role of Ken Barlow in the UK soap opera, said “Paedophilia is absolutely horrendous. ­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.”

Roache went on to explain a little about his theory about victims of abuse. He begins by saying "If you accept that you are pure love and therefore live that pure love, these things won't happen to you." When challenged, by interview Garth Bray, on whether or not he was saying that victims 'bring things on themselves,' he 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."

The actor’s comments have caused anger in many circles. The Daily Mirror in the UK reported that Dr Jon Bird of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said “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… Mr Roache has belittled the hurt and pain of others without any understanding of the circumstances himself. He should be ashamed of himself.” 

Watch the interview with Bill Roache

William Roache
Bill Roache: has caused anger with his comments on abuse victims