December 29, 2003 12:38
PETE TOWNSHEND CONTEMPLATED SUICIDE
The Who guitarist says, "If I had had a gun, I would have shot myself"...
The co-founder of The Who was arrested in January as a part of Operation Ore, the nationwide crackdown on child pornography.
Police said after a four-month investigation, that the 58-year-old guitarist had visited a website containing child pornography, but had not downloaded any of the images.
In a interview with The Observer newspaper yesterday (December 28), Townshend said: "If I had had a gun, I would have shot myself."
He added: "And if I had shot myself, it would have been f*****g awful because it would have confirmed what everybody thought."
Townshend admitted to viewing child pornography, but said he was carrying out research for a future book about child abuse.
Following the investigation, the guitarist was formally cautioned and his name was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.
He said: "I know that I caused the most incredible chaos by that one single neglectful careless act - for my ex-wife, for my son who's only 13, for his school friends, for my girlfriend, all of whom had to make a snap decision to wing behind me. And they all did."
Townshend explained that he was overwhelmed by the events at the beginning of the year, saying: "I was just spinning, it was a bit like being shot. I didn't really quite know what to do."
He added: "I am not sexually attracted to children."
As previously reported on NME.COM, The Who have been confirmed as third headliner at the Isle of Wight, due to take place June 11-13. The band will join David Bowie and Stereophonics on the bill.