Celebrity Rape?

by D.J. Webb

We have seen a spate of accusations of sexual assault, and even rape, against people in the public eye. It seems clear that celebrities are often surrounded by groupies, people who expect to be subject to some kind of sexual contact, and it also seems clear that, even where such contact is unwelcome, accusations made many years after the fact contravene any possible concept of justice. There is no way to prove any of any individual historical accusations. Instead what we have is a “weight of evidence” approach, where accusations from 100 people claiming to have been groped in the 1970s are considered to more or less prove the case, although none of the individual claims can be proved or disproved. This removes the burden of proof from one of “beyond all reasonable doubt” to the one of the “balance of probabilities” accepted in civil cases. In many cases, the balance of probabilities is that some kind of repellent behaviour did go on, but that does not mean that our criminal justice system should find people guilty of serious crimes on the basis of such “evidence”.

I was reading today about the claims of (male) rape against the erstwhile deputy speaker, Nigel Evans. I cannot comment on this individual case. I don’t know anything about the veracity of such claims, other than to say that where claims have been made against someone in the public eye, they can be used to drum up more claims by chancers, and so the entire process is suspect. Personally, I feel that claims of male rape ought to require a much higher evidential base than claims of heterosexual rape. This is because women are more frail than men and often afraid of violent men, and it could be believed that a woman wearing jeans could be so afraid as to assist in removing them to allow a rape to take place.

On the other hand (and I am not connecting these comments with the Evans case, as I don’t know the circumstances surrounding that), it is scarcely believable that a man would meekly remove his clothes and allow himself to be subject to a forcible sexual act (one of a type that is in fact much worse than heterosexual rape). I hope that no people in the public eye will be found guilty of such acts without each individual act being proved beyond all reasonable doubt, and without each case having occurred reasonably recently. It is possible that during a “bout” of consensual sex, a man who is already naked but not expecting or consenting to be buggered, might find his partner in the act insistent on doing things not consented to. A reasonable amount of physical resistance would be expected of a man, but the scenario is imaginable. But as I said, some degree of proof, including a man’s having gone to the police within hours of the alleged rape, would be required in anything other than a farce of a judicial system.

Male accusations of trivial sexual assault (Evans is being accused of “sexual touching” of “two victims” that took place between 2002 and 2009!), by contrast, strike me as absurd. If in a dark room of a gay club, a man had his genitalia touched by, e.g., an older and uglier man he had indicated he was not interested in, that would be sexual assault according to a very strict legal definition, but one would have to ask why he did not simply push the man away. What sort of man would make such accusations? One might imagine a woman, being more easily intimidated by men, making such accusations, but how manly would it be for a man to accuse another man of such trivial assaults?

There clearly is more to some of these stories than makes it into the press. If we think, for example, of how Stuart Lubbock, a young man attending a party in Michael Barrymore’s house, was found dead in the swimming pool, with physical evidence of violent anal assault, we have to realise that even quite serious accusations of this type often go nowhere, especially when a celebrity is involved. Clearly, someone murdered Stuart Lubbock. I don’t know who that person was. But I would suggest that case is much more serious and worthy of investigation by the police than any of these accusations now coming to light. Indeed, if I were prime minister, I would give the police chief involved a deadline to bring charges against someone for Lubbock’s murder, or be sacked. Sexual touching on an unknown date between 2002 and 2009 just isn’t really something the police should be investigating at all.

We have also seen how the police in Rochdale and other places have taken policy decisions not to pursue frequent allegations that Pakistani gangs were engaging in child rape. This is a very serious crime, but where the crime appeared to have an ethnic dimension, the police had other considerations to take into account, and seemed to have decided to ignore their oaths of office and allow the crimes to continue. When I put a petition on the government website for Rochdale police to be investigated for abetting child rape, the petition was deleted, and yet I believe police inaction can amount to abetment of a crime of sorts.

So sexual crimes, even as far as murder, are not always taken seriously by the government. So we are entitled to wonder what the real agenda is with the large number of arrests that began with the Jimmy Savile inquiry. Given that people in the public eye can often be targets for blackmail, and that some of these types of sexual assaults are of a trivial nature that millions of people could potentially have committed, and that even where underage people are involved, they are often 15 years of age, or people otherwise clearly far from sexually naive or innocent, I would say there is a good chance that such allegations are used to control politicians. Claims that the former prime minister, Edward Heath, was a frequent visitor to the Kincora boys’ home in Northern Ireland, an institution that was at the centre of a paedophile scandal with which Heath’s name was not explicitly linked, are interesting, to the extent that Mr Heath was a fully paid-up supporter of the technocratic project, supporting mass immigration, the EU and all the rest of it, and no investigation into his conduct was ever carried out.

Also problematic is the increasingly over-the-top policing of the Internet. A search for Nigel Evans’ name reveals nothing that is not already mentioned in the press. It seems all the balls are in the authorities’ court when information is controlled to this extreme degree. I would welcome a law accepting that the Internet was a zone of free comment, and that as no reasonable person would accept an Internet allegation as constituting definite proof of anything, claims of libel that related to comments on the Internet would no longer be accepted.

Finally, the anonymity accorded to accusers cannot be accepted as part of any reasonable justice system. Who are the people accusing Nigel Evans? What are their names and backgrounds? Why is this information exclusively available to the authorities? I am not suggesting that any high-profile person should not be prosecuted for crimes—the law should not be a respecter of persons—only that the lack of fundamental justice in our legal system, the way in which the authorities can decide to overlook serious crimes if they wish to and the way in which accusations against high-profile individuals can be generated at will are characteristics of an unfree society.

30 responses to “Celebrity Rape?

  1. The whole fiasco stinks, and so does the assumption of automatic male guilt.

  2. I’d dearly love to know the profession of the men Nigel Evans is supposed to have molested.

    • Why would his profession be significant? I’d be more interested in what size he is. Evans doesn’t look particularly strong.

  3. Pingback: Britannia Radio » Celebrity Rape? by D.J. Webb

  4. In a lot of these cases it is a child that is abused, so it is only natural that it might not come to light for some considerable time. That in no way lessens the abuse or absolves the perpetrator.

  5. The alleged victims may have been children at the time. The accusers are now at least in late middle age.

    Four questions for any cross-examination:

    1. You claim this assault took place in 196x?
    2. What have you been doing for the past 4x years?
    3. Have you ever asked the accused for money?
    4. Have you been offered money in connection with your complaint?

    Press those questions, and it would be a very perverse jury that convicted. Shame is that the legal aid barristers would be better employed cleaning toilets.

    In general, no criminal prosecution where the question turns on unsupported witness statements should be started more than three years after the alleged offence.

  6. Yes, Sean, you’re right. And Annarky, although it is possible a child may not report a serious crime against himself, that does not mean that any accusation decades later should be accepted by the courts without proof. The principle is that it is better for 10 guilty men to be found innocent than for one innocent man to be found guilty. Unfortunately, this does mean that a certain percentage (maybe even a high percentage) of such criminals will always go undetected. There is no other way consonant with justice.

    As you’ve pointed out, many of these celebrity accusations involve children, although “children” embraces the range from 5 or 6 years old to post-pubescent 15 year olds, most of whom are very sexually active. The number of people, celebrity or not, who would force themselves on 5 year olds, has got to be extremely low, because it is simply not normal to feel that way about 5 year old children. But 15 year old groupies who have had dozens of sexual partners and hang round celebrities for kicks – they are simply not really “children” in any meaningful definition of the word. You have to draw this distinction.

  7. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ambroseevans-pritchard/100025507/italy-floated-plans-to-leave-euro-in-2011-says-ecb-insider/ explains that Silvio Berlusconi floated plans for Italy to leave the euro – and lo! and behold!, accusations of bonga bonga parties and under-age (but well experienced) girls suddenly emerged. It’s clear that such behaviour by politicians is permitted – but used as a way of controlling those politicians.

  8. Le Vell case -the bitch should be named,shamed and prosecuted.

  9. Mark, none of us has any information on any specific cases and we are talking about the general phenomenon here, not particular people.

  10. It doesn’t take much thought to figure out who the girl and mother are in the Le Vell case. However, it is very illegal to actually name them on a blog, or comment, or Twitter, etc.

    The point is, there are two sorts of victims here. There are men like Le Vell, dragged through the courts (and many, who do go to prison). And there are many girls like the accuser who have been persuaded by cultic therapists that they have suffered abuse, and are tortured by imaginary memories.

    This is not about sexual laws. It is about a type of conspiracy theory that has gripped our establishment and is causing vast amounts of harm. It is destroying individuals, and families. The celebrity cases are simply the visible tip of an iceberg of ruin.

  11. There does appear to be a classic “moral panic” at work.

  12. On Mr B. – the Economist magazine (with the Financial Times newspaper the mouthpiece of the establishment) launched endless attacks on him (over a period of years) for things that, even if true, it totally ignored in his political rivals.

  13. It’s beyond a mere moral panic. Firstly (at the risk of Godwin’s Law), take the example of Nazi Germany. There had been various levels of anti-semitism in Europe for most of the past 2000 years. People ask, “But how could the cultured Germans have descended to such depravity in the 1930s?”. The answer is that the anti-semitism developed into a full blown conspiracy theory replete with fantastical nonsense, and crucially that conspiracy theory was adopted by the State. We see something similar here. People who believe fantastical things- particularly in fantastical evils will do crazy and despicable things to counter the “threat”.

    Which comes to the second point; the “Abuse Ideology” is akin to belief in such things as UFO abductions. There is a mythos, there is something secret going on everywere. Memories of the fantastical are uncovered by therapy and hypnosis. The memories involve bizarre (sexual) invasions, and are used to explain vague, nebulous psychological symptoms. Believers come together in groups to reinforce their beliefs. The mythos is promoted in literature, and on websites, and in group activities. Believers come to believe they have a special understanding beyond that of their fellow citizens. They can see the fantastical thing all around them. They believe knowledge of it is being suppressed by dark forces.

    The UFO cults and “survivor” cults are very similar. Remember, all this began with “Satanic cults”. The “satanism” has been quietly pushed aside (though, note that Le Vell was supposedly talking about “evil” in speech very unlike a working class Mancunian, but much like a Satanic Abuse believer) but the central ideology- of a great abuse conspiracy- remains in place and has taken hold of the State.

    • Apparently during the 80s/90s satanic scares, 9 out of 10 psychiatrists in both the UK and USA believed that ‘ritual abuse’ was a ‘real’ social problem.

  14. I do not know if it was nice out often ten Nick – but it was lots and it was mad (made up by demented Social Workers and other such).

    Ian – if you are right then some terrible times are coming.

  15. Yes Nick – it is terrible.

    Still some of the defence tactics were fun.

    Such as asking the children to describe the spaceship that had brought them to court that day – and the aliens that had brought them.

    This is to counter the (demented) establishment claim that “kids do not make things up”.

    Actually “the kids” did not make up the stories about Satanic abuse – it was made up by adults (but kids joined in the fantasy story telling).

  16. Programme about Cyril Smith on TV last night. I was very sad at the revealations -I used to quite like him!

  17. Apparently the new fashion is the post mortem convictions. Allegations made after death are automatically true. We appear to have moved to a legal system predicated on damnatio memoriae.

    It’s interesting to see the press saying “just like Jimmy Savile”. If that’s the case, it should be literally interpreted as “a bunch of delusionists and chancers making shit up in pursuit of compensation”. Considering how many allegations we know already are entirely or largely inventions- such as the conspiracies surround Bryn Estyn and the Welsh boys homes, and Haut La Garenne and, it seems, mostly at least Savile- we should be very cautious.

    What is also noteworthy is the number of people who come out of the woodwork declaring that “oh yes, we knew about it all along”. It seems to be motivated, like conspiracy theorists in general, by a desire to seem more “in the know” than other people. That is appealing, psychologically. For instance, I know which member of the Royal Family had a gay liason and who with. Aren’t you all jealous of my inside knowledge?

    *Taps nose, smugly*.

    Rape occurs, and kiddy fiddling of various degrees occurs, so no doubt some allegations are true. But there is such a morass of making shit up surrounding all this now that we would be far better to discount every one of these post mortem revelations. That is the unfortunate negative consequence of crying wolf.

  18. I don’t think it hurts to bear in mind that many (most?) of these celebrities have behaved in exploitative ways. People like Jimmy Savile always were very creepy – if I spotted that years ago, why didn’t anyone else? Tracksuited weirdo with long white hair always photographed touching children. Clearly he was allowed to get away with a lot. It’s just that in a justice system, you need to have a standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt – with each instance being proven. Some of these articles on the “moral panic” would have you believe none of these men did anything exceptional – but I find that hard to believe. The hard argument to have witih people is that someone who is creepy and weird and who we all think was doing something odd to children should not be sent down based on the testimony of 100 children who only came forward 20 years later after reading of another person coming forward. Not all of these men are victims of miscarriages of justice – it’s just that we ought to allow guilty men to go free if their crimes are not proven. I think most contributors to this thread have got carried away with the idea that all the celebrities accused of sex crimes are innocent…

  19. Innocent until proven guilty, David. It’s the basis of a fair justice system. Presuming that somebody must be up to no good if they’re “creepy” is the very tittle tattle that corpus delicti is intended to prevent.

    Which by the by makes me wonder how many of these cases pass that basic legal test.

  20. There is such a thing as innocence before being proven guilty – but there is also such a thing as the Establishment turning a blind eye to serious crimes – and that is even more objectionable than a “moral panic” against celebrities.

    I don’t know if evidence against Jimmy Savile would ever have been sufficient to jail him – given that nearly all of the victims waited years before coming forward. So according to what I set out above, the beyond all reasonable doubt proof may not have existed in any specific instance.

    But it is incontrovertible that the BBC and others did allow things to go on that shouldn’t have. I am not sure if a production staffer at the BBC stumbled into a scene where an ageing celebrity was fumbling with a 15 year old girl – there are numerous eye-witnesses to this sort of thing – whether it could be proven that that fumbling definitely included a full rape. I woudl suggest that in the absence of a report to the police pretty soon after it happened, allowing a physical swab to be taken, such evidence could not jail someone. But BBC staffers and managers incontrovertibly knew that their premises were being used for lascivious conduct (at least), and shouldn’t have allowed it.

    I’m worried that people in this thread, including Ian B and others, have lost their moral compass entirely, and regard ageing celebrities with their hands down a schoolgirl’s clothing – something that definitely happened – as just normal. There seems to be an extreme viewpoint on this site where, if you oppose jailing celebrities on the basis of insufficient evidence produced in a climate of hysteria, it is held that should also support the behaviour of BBC managers in allowing conduct that was unacceptable in any case, even if it didn’t definitely include rape in any identifiable case.

    I tried to show balance in my article – a balance that has 100% lacking in the discussion thread – between not jailing people on the basis of unproven assertions, and arguing that the state should not be allowed to cover up serious sexual crimes where there is evidence. Not a single person has discussed why the murder of Stuart Lubbock on Michael Barrymore’s property has not led to any charges. Do people here think it is a “moral panic” to even question this? And the overlooking of child rape by Pakistani gangs in Rochdale? Or evidence cited by Littlejohn in the Daily Mail that a police officer was ordered by Special Branch to drop an investigation into the murder of an 18yo man said to have been involved in a sexual relationship with Cyril Smith.

    It seems some libertarians are only interested in claiming all this is a moral panic. Yet a much, much more serious aspect of this is the way in which people in positions of authority in the state have chosen not to investigate very serious crimes… Anyone who objects to murder is subject to a moral panic, eh??? My article was much more balanced than anything written below it. 1) People should not be sentence without evidence beyond reasonable doubt. 2) Establishment figures should not get away with serious crimes because of who they are. Am I the only person here who supports BOTH of these propositions? I feel embarrassed to read the discussion thread here.

  21. DJ, some of us have probably been following all this for longer than you have; for myself since I became interested in the Satanic Abuse Panic in the 1980s. That’s a long time to form a balanced opinion.

    What is characteristic of this matter is, invariably, vast amounts of testimony which upon close inspection falls apart. The people pushing the panic attempt to overwhelm people with so much testimony that they feel “well something must be true”. But testimony is easy to come by. This is why our legal system deliberately discriminates against unsupported testimony. Liars, fantasists, chancers and bandwagon jumpers can be appallingly convincing. There are proven cases of people writing entirely false “Holocaust Memoirs”, as with the “Fragments” scandal. Nobody would lie about that, would they? Being a death camp survivor? But they do.

    The particular problem here, as I discussed above, is the development of a cult atmosphere via “therapy”. This produces a legion of “victims” via false memories. Human beings have appallingly bad memories. Simply an atmosphere of panic can induce people to reconsider formerly innocent fragments of memory and construct new “retellings” of their past. People simply don’t grasp the unreliability of distant memories.

    At most all that seems to have occurred is interactions with groupies, which were commonplace at the time before the panic. You are free to disapprove of that, but to suggest that the BBC not preventing it is negligence is to demand that they should have, in the libertine 1970s, basically shopped the entire entertainment industry to the police. All sorts of things were going on (and still do go on) on tour buses, in dressing rooms, and so on. Everyone knew, as well. Attitudes have changed. Shall we also go back and prosecute everyone who smoked some dope? That was illegal too and, like fucking a groupie, nobody gave a damn.

    What it doesn’t amount to is this absurd nonsense about “paedophile rings” and conspiracies. As I said, this is beyond mere moral panic, it is a full blown crazy conspiracy theory like UFO abductions. I could find you thousands of people (mainly Americans) who are firmly convinced they have been experimented on aboard flying saucers, and thousands of others who are convinced they were members of Satanic cults that ate babies. That’s the model you need to use when assessing the reliability of testimony. Jimmy Savile, Freddie Starr, Gary Glitter and Karin Ward in a BBC dressing room? It never happened.

  22. Also-

    “Not a single person has discussed why the murder of Stuart Lubbock on Michael Barrymore’s property has not led to any charges. Do people here think it is a “moral panic” to even question this? And the overlooking of child rape by Pakistani gangs in Rochdale? Or evidence cited by Littlejohn in the Daily Mail that a police officer was ordered by Special Branch to drop an investigation into the murder of an 18yo man said to have been involved in a sexual relationship with Cyril Smith.”

    The Lubbock case is well publicised and destroyed Barrymore’s career. Are you suggesting a cover up? Or is it just that there is insufficient evidence of a murder, and maybe a young man just fell in a swimming pool at a party?

    As to the overlooking of some teenagers fucking kebab shop owners, it was largely as we know a matter of too much “cultural sensitivity”. But it is worth bearing in mind that in the days of the traditional morality you often espouse, girls voluntarily associating with groups of men to provide sexual favours would have been called tarts, not rape victims, which only illustrates how attitudes change.

  23. I am sure I am not the most culturally refined person in the world, but I do have make some attempt at upholding standards. I don’t write in expletives and certainly look down on those who do. Virtually the whole of Ian B’s post was a non sequitur – as I am highlighting the point that the Establishment should not get to choose to overlook much more serious crimes, while hamming up trivialities.

  24. Oh for fuck’s sake.

  25. Go to the excellent blog “The Death of the Life of Jimmy Saville”. http://jimcannotfixthis.blogspot.co.uk/
    –Moor Larkin debunks the bloody lot.

    As to Cyril Smith–if there are claims let them be investigated impartially with the same rigour as should happen if he was still alive. Then might the truth come out. Until then the “I knew he was a creep” brigade should shut their traps.
    For D J Webb–as for Saville’s “creepy” manner, Mr Larkin addresses that on one of his latest postings. Jimmy Saville was one of the 4 orig “Top of the Pops” presenters –David Jacobs, Pete Murray and Alan “Fluff” Freeman were the others. Saville was born the same year as David Jacobs–a nice man by all accounts but also the ultimate square. All except Saville were gone by 1969 because they were too old /square for “youth culture” . Saville was then an average of 15 years older than his new 70’s co-presenters (22 years older than Noel Edmonds for example) yet he remained as a TOTP presenter until the mid-80s. Because of his unusual way of being. If he had acted his age he would have been out of a job with David Jacobs etc.

    Also, lets deal with this “Establishment/BBC cover-up” shite which is likewise part of the line of bullshit being spun by the Yewtree gang. The idea being peddled is that the BBC knew all about Saville’s “crimes” throughout the 60s/70’s/80’s etc but “protected” him because he was a) such a financial asset &/or b) had such a powerful “presence” at the BBC that he was untouchable–like some sort of J Edgar Hoover of UK entertainment.

    Absolute bollocks. Moor Larkin has a cache of actual BBC documents from the 60’s and, far from Saville being some heavyweight at the Beeb, he was treated with snobbish contempt (prob because he was a part of successful commercial radio and a working-class former Bevin boy). There are letters/internal memos referring to Saville in such term as “Do we need this alleged artist(e)?”. They eventually gave him a long-term contract (1 year!) worth £9000 -about 65 grand today–middle-management type money but even then far from the heights of the UK entertainment world. They tried to vary the terms of his contract unilaterally to Savilles detriment and when he complained Mr Larkin has a memo sent to the BBC legal dept asking if they could do that(the reply was “As a general principle no…” although it doesn’t state if the principal meant was moral or legal or both). At some point they also considered trying to put him on piecework–just pay him by the show on an ad hoc basis. Hardly someone with Establishment influence was he?. Just more bollocks from feminist liars and their corrupted cop stooges.