A UK newspaper claims one of the charity's co-founders took a bribe...

DAVID BOWIE and opera star LUCIANO PAVAROTTI have resigned as patrons of WAR CHILD following accusations of corruption within the charity.

An investigation by UK newspaper The Guardian claims a co-founder of the charity took a bribe from contractors who were building a music centre in Pavarotti’s name in Bosnia.

War Child are an international agency who work to help child victims of war. Famously, the charity helped put together a compilation album in 1995, ‘Help’, when artists including The Stone Roses, Radiohead, The Charlatans, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller each recorded a song in a day for the album. The proceeds helped suffering children in Bosnia.


The investigation claims that War Child co-founder Bill Leeson and consultant Mike Terry received a gift of #14,716 in November 1996 from the contractor building the Pavarotti music centre in Mostar, Bosnia.

A spokesperson for Pavarotti told the paper: “He did not want to be associated with anything that was corrupt and wanted every dollar that he had raised to be accountable.”

Other, non-musical patrons are also reported to have resigned, including actress Juliet Stevenson, MTV boss Brent Hansen and playwright Sir Tom Stoppard.

Speaking to NME.COM this morning (January 10), a spokesperson for War Child was unwilling to comment fully, but would confirm that both Bowie and Pavarotti have resigned. A statement is currently being prepared, and NME.COM will bring you updates throughout the day.

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