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The Who’s Townshend Mulled Suicide Over Child Porn
LONDON (Reuters) – British rock legend Pete Townshend contemplated suicide during a police inquiry into his use of child pornography, he said in an interview published on Sunday.
The 58-year-old guitarist from the Who was arrested in January during a high-profile crackdown on Internet child porn and was formally cautioned in May after a four-month investigation.
Townshend, who said he was abused as a child, publicly admitted viewing child pornography but said it was purely for research purposes.
“If I had had a gun, I would have shot myself,” he told Britain’s Observer newspaper. “And if I had shot myself, it would have been awful because it would have confirmed what everybody thought.”
The inquiry found he had visited a Web site containing child abuse images in 1999 but did not download any images.
On top of the formal caution, police have taken a DNA sample from Townshend and put his name on the national Sex Offenders Register for five years.
“I’m not sexually attracted to children,” he said in the interview. Among the Who’s many songs was the track “Fiddle About,” which dealt with the issue of child abuse.