Who's A Stupid Boy?
PETE Townshend came under fire last night for writing an erotic story about two 16-year-olds
and posting it on the internet.
The Who's 61-year-old guitarist was warned this was ill-advised for someone on the sex offenders'
register, having been cautioned for child pornography offences three years ago.
Townshend has now removed the story, telling readers it had "upset certain people".
Called The Comedian, it contains a description of a sex act between a boy and a girl, both 16. Most
of it is too graphic to be reprinted, but one section reads: "She had splendid breasts for such an elfin
girl: loose, low and lush; she was a luxurious creature."
His decision to publish such material raises serious questions about his judgment and was criticised
by children's charities and politicians.
Townshend's name was one of 7000 passed to Scotland Yard by the FBI as part of Operation Ore - a
2003 investigation into child pornography on the internet. He was arrested and questioned.
He issued a vehement denial he was a paedophile, claiming he only accessed a site as research for
an campaign against child pornography. He was not charged but accepted a police caution and was
placed on the register for five years.
He later told how the incident almost drove him to suicide.
Opposition spokesman for children Tim Loughton said: "Given his recent brushes with the law, I would
have thought he would have shown more sense, especially as he is old enough to be a grandfather.
Perhaps he should stick to his music."
The story was on a bloggers' website, on which contributors share weblogs. Townshend's page could
be accessed from his official website.
When children's charities became aware of it, he removed it.
Townshend said in an email: "I've taken down my story. I respect the requirements of the
Sex Offenders' Register without condition."
In an online message to readers, he wrote: "I have had to end this blog. It has upset certain people
and I sincerely do not wish to offend anyone."
Townshend, a father of three, lives in London with his 31-year-old girlfriend Rachel Fuller.
He has enjoyed a moderately successful literary career, writing a collection of short stories.
He is currently on tour with The Who.
The Daily Telegraph (23-06-2006)