FREE-D!

Robert Del Naja speaks for the first time after his arrest and subsequent clearing on Internet porn offences...

Massive Attack‘s ROBERT 3-D DEL NAJA has spoken for the first time about his arrest – and subsequent clearing on internet pornography offences.

Detectives seized computer equipment and a quantity of suspected drugs during a raid at Del Naja’s home in Bristol (February 25). The arrest was made under Avon and Somerset’s Operation Ricochet, part of Operation Ore, the national crackdown on child porn. The enquiries were subsequently dropped by police, with all his property seized returned.

Speaking in today’s The Guardian newspaper, Del Naja says he has always been open about his use of pornography, but his credit card details were on a database from 1999, when he was charged $3.

“The company that it’s attributed to owns hundreds of websites, all different, some of which are absolutely vile, hideous,” he said. “I was away in London and somebody phoned up and told me they’d been let into my house by a mate of mine. They took everything, every video, every memory stick, every hard drive, spent a month analysing it and found absolutely nothing.”

Del Naja says he has considered whether or not he has a case for legal action against the police, but has decided not to proceed. He continued: “We’ve talked about what I can do about it, but it would be a long-drawn-out, expensive scenario. I don’t want to get involved in it because I don’t want to spend my life focusing on it. I don’t want to spend my money on it.”

Before the charges were dropped, Massive Attack were due to start their world tour in Australia and New Zealand. The first shows were initially rearranged, but 3-D says that getting up on stage was incredibly difficult.

“It was the hardest time in my life,” he added. “I had to go on tour with those allegations in the air, which was horrendous. I didn’t want to wallow in self-pity or martyr myself on stage. I decided not to get involved with making comments in the press, so I made a statement to the audience each night – ‘If everyone’s here, I guess you don’t believe these ridiculous charges’ – which got a big cheer. That’s how it went down.”

He added that since the allegations, his life has become “more difficult” – despite his innocence. He concluded: “Now I walk into a shop or pub and I can’t rally be myself. I have to look at everyone twice in the eye. I have to confront almost everyone: if you’ve got something to fucking say to me, come out and say it, let me fucking hear it…

“You can say that it’s a load of bollocks, but once it’s written down, it’s written down. It could come up in my obituary. All the things I’ve done in my life and that might come up. What’s that about? I feel shattered but you learn from it. When I wake up in the morning I get that sinking feeling. But you have to deal with it, you have to go forward. It’s given me a lot more resolve to do what I want to do.”

Massive Attack will pay a five night residency at London Brixton Academy next week. It has sold out.