The Who’s Pete Townshend recently revealed that Keir Starmer was the lawyer who challenged him in Townshend’s infamous child pornography case.
Police started looking into Townshend after it was learned that he had paid to watch child pornography in 2003. Townshend feared he may have been sexually assaulted as a child, and the Who star said it was research for a crusade against pedophilia for his memoir: “You have to know what’s out there.”
Townshend went into greater detail about the incident just prior to the publication of his memoir in 2012. He said that in order to reveal the money flow of child abuse from Russian orphanages, he had spent £7 to access a child pornography site, which he then quickly cancelled.
Townshend admitted his actions were “insane”, saying it was a result of “white knight syndrome, an attempt to be seen to be the one that’s helping.” He also revealed he was cautioned and placed on the sex offenders list for five years afterwards.
In a new profile, it was revealed that current Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer was barrister who challenged Townshend in court. “You know, I made a mistake, but I think I did the right thing,” he told The Independent.
“I was challenged by Keir Starmer, who was then in charge of public prosecutions, to either go to court to make my case clear or to accept a caution.”
“I was terrified of going to court. I thought I would be used as a poster boy, so I refused. I took the caution. So legally, there’s an argument that I was guilty of what I was accused of, which was downloading child pornography, which I never did. In fact, I was campaigning and researching and trying to get to a place where I could be useful to point the finger at where it was coming from.”
Recently, Townshend released his first single in nearly 30 years. Titled ‘Can’t Outrun The Truth’, the song was created so its proceeds could be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust, whose annual concerts at the Royal Albert Hall had been axed during the pandemic.