Bill says sorry after sex abuse comments

William Roache.
William Roache.

Ilkeston-born soapstar Bill Roache has apologised after appearing to claim that sex abuse victims brought it on themselves in their past lives.

In an interview for New Zealand TV the 80-year-old Coronation Street actor also defended popstars who sleep with groupies who ‘don’t know what age they may be’.

“They’re certainly not grooming them, but they can be caught in this trap,” he said.

Roache, who plays Ken Barlow in the soap and was born in Heanor Road, famously belongs to a religious sect called the Pure Love Movement.

Of abuse victims 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.”

Interviewer Garth Bray asked him: “To some people that sounds perhaps like you’re saying victims bring things on themselves - is that what you’re saying?”

Roache replied: “No, not quite, but and yet I am, because everything that happens to us has been a result of what we have been in previous lives or whatever.”

On Tuesday he apologised for his comments, saying: “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 upmost sympathies to anyone affected by sexual offences and paedophilia.”