to think this video may show that Esther Rantzen KNEW Jimmy Saville was abusing children...

(169 Posts)
spareidentity Tue 09-Oct-12 22:22:38

... And to think that if she did, ChildLine need to say publicly how awful that is...

Esther Rantzen was interviewed on Sky a couple of days ago, about the documentary which alleged Saville was a predatory abuser. I've just come across a video of the interview (click here) , and I'm really shocked by how she appears to duck the question "When did YOU know?"

It does seem that a lot of people knew about Saville, or had their suspicions, years ago sad But I can't help feeling that Rantzen's role at Childline puts her in an entirely different position to anyone else who may have known... She's a 'champion' for the organisation... But if it transpires that she kept silent about abuse, I think that's really appalling, and ChildLine need to make some kind of statement... Because if even the founder of ChildLine keeps silent about abuse, for any reason at all, then doesn't that give a terrible message to all those children and adults trying to find the courage to speak out about what has happened to them, that everyone is keeping silent, and they are right to feel afraid and alone? sad

I find this very upsetting, and if turns out Rantzen did know, I think that is really shocking and outrageous... But AIBU? Do other people draw different conclusions from the video? And if not, could there be a good reason for her not to speak out?

Purple2012 Tue 09-Oct-12 22:28:43

There was an article the other day in the papers with her saying she had heard rumours at the time

spareidentity Tue 09-Oct-12 22:32:22

I understand why she might not have felt able to speak out in the 70s when she was young and relatively unknown... But she founded CHildLine in the 80s, and she has been powerful and respected since then... So WHY would she not speak out, if she knew? sad

I haven't watched the video. The problem is that 'knowing' is different to being a bit sure or thinking it. I also think that the message is that anyone who has information about child abuse has a duty to report no matter what role they are in.

SoleSource Tue 09-Oct-12 22:34:15

People must have been terrified of losing tbeir carers if tbey spome out. All I can think of .

giraffesCantGoGuisingAsZebras Tue 09-Oct-12 22:34:56

Hearing a rumour and having evidence that can lead to a conviction is not the same thing.

SchoolFool Tue 09-Oct-12 22:35:12

It's one thing to have strong suspicions and quite another to throw around accusations based on rumours.

I think that was the problem, basically. Everyone "knew" but no-one "knew knew" except those who were colluding and obviously didn't want to admit that.

JeezyOrangePips Tue 09-Oct-12 22:35:25

Would anything be done if you reported a rumour?

I'm not convinced that they could investigate an allegation by someone that didn't have any specific details.

Rosebud05 Tue 09-Oct-12 22:37:57

In no way at all am I defending anyone who had heard rumours or had suspicions and kept quiet, but one feature of the general denial that occurs around abuse is that it's sort of possible to know and not know at the same time.

Which is why so many people are now saying that JS gave them the creeps or something about him made them feel uncomfortable.

It's also possible for people who have been abused to be completely aware that they've been abused but tell themselves and others that they haven't because it's so painful they wish to protect themselves from the awful truth, if that makes sense.

I haven't watched the video btw.

spareidentity Tue 09-Oct-12 22:43:18

A rumour wouldn't have been enough for police action, of course. Or maybe not even for a BBC investigation..... But it might have been enough to stop people letting JS take girls into his dressing room alone.

The police are now pursuing 120 lines of enquiry sad They said they think at least 20-30 girls have/will come forward sad Maybe he could have been stopped earlier.

Esther Rantzen said in the documentary "We all colluded. We made him into the Jimmy Saville who was untouchable. We all blocked our ears to the gossip. There was gossip, there were rumours". She was the founder of ChildLine fgs - why didn't she SAY something?

Because unless u can 100% prove it there's no way she could say anythin. Who knows who it if anyone knew or was helping to cover it up or turning a blind eye. Expect she was rerrified at who she woukd be dealing with if she came forward and made her ( at time unsubstantieated) allegations. Rich people r often powerful people who knows what threats were made sad

spareidentity Tue 09-Oct-12 22:46:46

It does make sense Rosebud. And I am absolutely NOT saying the victims themselves should have spoken out. I understand why it is incredibly difficult to speak out if you are being abused. But Rantzen was in a position of power and influence - she has been for at least 25 years - and it seems that she was speaking out about child abuse in theory while keeping quiet about real life suspicions.

Everyone would have been sat at home thinking they were the only one and scared stiff over whether they would be believed or not. Unaware that there were others that would add strength to the case sad

marbleslost Tue 09-Oct-12 22:47:25

The thing I loathe about Esther Rantzen is that she's so quick to judge others. I remember seeing her a couple of times on the news berating carers of the elderly. She'd say well it's obvioius if you're being abusive or not. When actually it's not. Many of the elderly patients I worked with didn't want their soiled pads changing, didn't want to eat or drink. Yet somehow you had to do it. Or that would be considered not caring for them. It was an extremely difficult job with some very grey areas.

I really hope she gets pulled up on this. I haven't seen the video.

spareidentity Tue 09-Oct-12 22:48:50

I'm sure tjhat's the reason the victims and junior staff didn't speak out WMCD, but Rantzen herself is rich and powerful and influential.

JeezyOrangePips Tue 09-Oct-12 22:48:54

Had she said something publicly, she would have left herself wide open to legal action. Had she said something to thd police they couldn't have actioned it.

What would you have her do?

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Tue 09-Oct-12 22:51:01

But whatever happened, she did start Childline, so maybe that was in response to what she had seen.


Tigglette Tue 09-Oct-12 22:52:54

She was an investigative journalist in her own right, was married to a senior BBC executive and is a trustee of the NSPCC. I can't help but think there would have been a way to expose this had she had the will to do so.

BoffinMum Tue 09-Oct-12 22:53:19

She was living with his boss at the time,and many people on the inside are saying to me that of course she knew. But she hadn't latched onto the child protection industry as a career move at that point - quite the contrary.

Sorry, I think she is a very self-interested woman. She's been caught out here, though.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Tue 09-Oct-12 22:56:22

Like JSP said on question time women were not listened too they would have been shouted down it was known and because of the culture no one said anything. papers often threatened to run the story but JS would threaten to stop funds going to the charities he supported

He had a hold over people

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Tue 09-Oct-12 22:57:11

Yes - I blame Esther Rantzen for all this.

BoffinMum Tue 09-Oct-12 23:02:11

I don't, but I blame her for incessantly jumping on bandwagons.

spareidentity Tue 09-Oct-12 23:03:22

That's exactly what I'm thinking Tigglette.

I can't square what she says at all. If you watch the video, the most shocking thing is when she's asked "Given that you founded ChildLine, did you never think of taking up these rumours - maybe not with the authorities, but with BBC bosses?" and she says "Um, it would have been completely irrelevant to anything I was working on" confused shock

BoffinMum Tue 09-Oct-12 23:04:38

I rest my case.

She is exposing herself as what she truly is, a self-interested busybody.

BonzoDooDah Tue 09-Oct-12 23:08:28

What's very sad is that in the video she says another adult saw Saville abusing a child in his dressing room. AND THEY DID NOTHING!!! That poor bloody child - an adult saw and didn't help sad

I know we do have to remember that times have changed an awful lot. The sexism and manipulation and dominance of men over women in the work place has changed massively over the last 20-30 years and it is an immeasurably different time now. So who would someone have reported something like this too? And would they have been brushed off and ignored or pushed out or victimised themselves? Maybe they were. We don't yet know how deep or high this went.

It is shameful though. And sickening.

He always did give me the creeps. Could never put my finger on why. Always just assumed it was the terible "bling".

FreudiansGoldSlipper Tue 09-Oct-12 23:10:04

What would have happened BBC would close ranks around JS they would not have wanted the embarrassment, JS probably told to stop being a naughty boy and he would have probably thrown a tantrum and whined about all the hard work he did for charity then all would be forgotten

We only have to read the thread on sexual abuse to see how often it was just hushed up you were careful around some men attitudes have changed so much that's why she along with many many others did not say anything is it right no

Completely agree with op and tiglette
If she had suspicions children were being abused she should have acted.

BoffinMum Tue 09-Oct-12 23:11:21

People did used to speak out. Gary Glitter was convicted of sexual offences, for example.

BonzoDooDah Tue 09-Oct-12 23:11:29

How far do you go with a rumour though? You may hear through a 5 person chain that so-and-so is a creepy letch but how would you know it was right and enough to act? Especially if you hadn't heard all the other (now we hear) completely credible accusations. Difficult call in different times.
Easy to say now you'd report it. You would, now ... but then ...

BegoniaBampot Tue 09-Oct-12 23:12:31

I think we should just tar and feather her. We can't get Saville so let's just start a witch hunt and blame everyone else - especially the women as we generally hold them more accountable than men for this kind of thing even though they might have been vulnerable and scared themselves at some point.

spareidentity Tue 09-Oct-12 23:13:08

Exit, I guess that's a kind of reference to how stupid it would be to scapegoat or blame Rantzen for the child abuse, now that we can't get at/try/convict JS. I agree.

But if she knew, I really think it's shocking and CHildLine need to say so - she's champion for the country's biggest child welfare/protection charity - how can she possibly have known about abuse and not spoken out?

FGS, 'the culture' might explain why she didn't speak out in the 70s. But what about the 80s? The 90s? The 2000s? sad

spareidentity Tue 09-Oct-12 23:15:08

I take your point Begonia... But if the founder of Childline doesn't dare speak out about child abuse, what hope is there?

BonzoDooDah Tue 09-Oct-12 23:16:21

Gary Glitter was only convicted and come to wide knowledge in 2006 due to his "activities" in Vietnam. But reading the press it seems he was added to the sex offencers register in 1999 "and jailed for two months after admitting possessing a collection of 4,000 hardcore photographs of children being abused" So who was shouting back in 1999?
(Or did I miss that?) Times have changed a lot even in those years.

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Tue 09-Oct-12 23:18:24

Oh I agree, the whole thing is appaling, and how quickly the police and his family have capitulated just goes to prove how it is all true. It's like the Emperor's new clothes - one person speaks out and the others follow.

But it would not have been top of mind for ER, like it would have been for the victims (and JS <boak>) but maybe it was her subconscious awareness that made her start Childline.

Who knows?

Begonia I'd say exactly the same if a man had founded choldline. As op said what message is. It sending to children out there. Certainly not "pick up the. Phone and you'll be believed"

It occurred to me that she may have been involved in Childline because she wanted to change the culture of silence around child abuse. Maybe this was her way of dealing with people like JS. Because things have changed, partially because of Childline. If she knew there were rumours and couldn't prove anything, not a bad way of trying to do SOMETHING.

BoffinMum Tue 09-Oct-12 23:20:06

There are a lot of ways Esther could have done something behind the scenes, if she really was concerned, if she wanted to.

I think a good question for her is whether she knows of any other celebrities that there are rumours about, either from her TV days or in her capacity as founder of ChildLine, and where her line would be drawn in terms of acting. Because it is not clear at the moment.

And people are only interested in her because she has put herself up as an unofficial spokesperson. If she is going to go on news programmes talking about this as some kind of authority, then people are going to question that authority, surely?

FreudiansGoldSlipper Tue 09-Oct-12 23:20:46

Gary Glitter was charged with having pictures of children being abused on his computer not because someone spoke out against things they had heard. This was in the 90's

DIdnt ulrika Johnson or someone speak out about John Leslie? He was never jailed snd she was well slated

BonzoDooDah Tue 09-Oct-12 23:28:35

Exactly Wheresmycaffeine - the blokey society made Ulrika the demon not JL. That culture is still there - and not far below the surface.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Tue 09-Oct-12 23:28:41

What could she speak out about things she had heard what go on live tv and announce it. Now to some gossip that I have heard that I believe to be true Saint Jimmy Savile has raped young girls in his dressing room

Why didn't the men who worked with him confront him but no it's a woman that gets the blame

spareidentity Tue 09-Oct-12 23:29:06

Yes maybe MrsTP. But then why isn't she saying that now?

The NSPCC, who run ChildLine, have a slogan on their webpage that says "If it doesn't seem right, talk to us"... They specifically advise people to raise concerns about child abuse, even if they're not sure. But ER didn't. sad

Tigglette Tue 09-Oct-12 23:31:13

He was accused of rape, and she was talking about her own experience, which is very different to talking about something you know about a third party.

Esther Rantzen set her stall out campaigning about sexual abuse and how young people should speak about it. While I can see the argument that says at the time women didn't have power and credibility, she's been in a very different position for many years. She has a vested interest in stopping sexual abuse - possibly because of what she may or may not have known about JS - I feel her credibility is somewhat undermined by her involvement in this situation.

It's already been said he threatened people with pulling funding. Rich people and their lawyers can make anything go away. U would need absolute undeniable proof and even then ur bane would be mud at end of it all sad


Tigglette Tue 09-Oct-12 23:33:20

Doh crossposted with everyone... in response to wheresmycaffein...

spareidentity Tue 09-Oct-12 23:35:25

Yes there are questions for LOADS of people FGS - most of them probably men, given the BBC hierarchy... But like I said in my original post, I can't help feeling that Rantzen's role at Childline puts her in an entirely different position to anyone else who may have known - She's a 'champion' for the organisation, and as such, her MAIN role is to advocate, give key messages and speak out against child abuse.

perceptionreality Tue 09-Oct-12 23:35:38

I agree with BoffinMum - she has come forward to talk about this and therefore it's reasonable for people to question why she didn't do more. I just wonder who else is or has covered up for JS or anyone else?

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Tue 09-Oct-12 23:38:02

But maybe her starting Childline was her way of trying to do something?

perceptionreality Tue 09-Oct-12 23:38:06

Ulrika refused to confirm or deny who it was who raped her.

BoffinMum Tue 09-Oct-12 23:39:21

I'm not being critical because she is a woman, I am being critical because she is the founder of ChildLine and has decided to come forward as a spokesperson about this.

spareidentity Tue 09-Oct-12 23:39:43

That's why I think an investigation is needed, perception. Usually I don't support investigations - they're so often a waste of time and money - but there must have been lots of people at the BBC who knew or had heard the rumours, and I bet some of that culture still remains, and they need to challenge it.

perceptionreality Tue 09-Oct-12 23:39:46

But actually, that was another case where it appeared her experience was the tip of an iceburg as women came forward to talk of a tv presenter who was a sexual predator.

perceptionreality Tue 09-Oct-12 23:43:34

Well my mum knew someone who worked at the BBC who knew what he was doing and this person was not high profile at all. There is surely no doubt that ER knew what was going on. Whether she had proof who can say - but there must have been something she could do.

And I totally agree that this has nothing to do with her being a woman.

Can I just reiterate that we ALL have a duty to report. All of us. It doesn't matter if you are not high profile, or aren't, or founded Childline or not. That needs to be the message. How many threads are on this site, "AIBU to call Social Services about..." Always call if in doubt. Let the professionals investigate. Stop blaming ER and start blaming a) the men who rape children and b) the culture of distrusting SS and not calling them.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Tue 09-Oct-12 23:47:17

She was not in the 70's. Childline started in the 80's it takes calls from over 2000 children every day

He had every paper gagged, he got out of being prosecuted in 2007 men talk of fearing him he was a powerful manipulative man

spareidentity Tue 09-Oct-12 23:49:12

JeezyOrangePips, you asked ages ago "What would you have her do?" That's a really good question. I Have been thinking about what I would have had her do, which is speak up at the time she first heard the rumours, or not much later. But I am less clear about what I want her to do now. I want to think more about that. But if she was able to be open now and say "I didn't speak out and I should have done, because we can only stop child abuse if we stop it from being a secret", maybe this would raise awareness and do enormous good.

But as I say, I do find this upsetting and depressing, because if even the founder of Childline keeps quiet about child abuse, how can we ever hope to stop it? sad

perceptionreality Tue 09-Oct-12 23:52:51

When I watched the programme last week there was a man who said he had a junior position at the BBC and he was afraid of him and afraid to report.

This kind of thing happens in all walks of life - a friend of mine who is a doctor told me that junior doctors are afraid to report senior ones.

However, this is indeed no excuse. And anyone who didn't speak out colluded.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Tue 09-Oct-12 23:58:51

ER has said a few times it was known, an open secret, those that knew those that turned a blind eye those that help support this notion of him being a saint colluded she is including herself

It is quite obvious she is struggling with this. The focus should be those that abused and those still alive that will hopefully be prosecuted

hellsbells76 Wed 10-Oct-12 00:00:41

There was a former (male) producer at the bbc on that programme admitting that he had first hand knowledge that Savile was raping a 12 year old (he even spoke to her on the phone while she was in bed with him - it was 'demeaning' to him apparently hmm ) but no one's baying for his blood or demanding to know why he said nothing. The knives are out for Esther Rantzen instead. Misogyny runs deep doesn't it?

spareidentity Wed 10-Oct-12 00:01:23

FGS, Rantzen was around in the 70s. That's Life! started in 1973, and Rantzen was presenter all the way through to the 90s. It ran back-to-back with Jim'll Fix It on Saturdays for many years, as I remember, and there was a bit of a ratings war - both shows had audiences around 18 million.

Claireabella1 Wed 10-Oct-12 00:01:49

The man can't defend himself, can he? We don't know and will probably never know any of this is true.

Proudnscary Wed 10-Oct-12 00:05:04

Really? I choose to BELIEVE the victims personally, Claire.

I used to work at ChildLine many, many moons ago. And I am sickened that she knew.

No excuse. No 'those were different times'. Yes they were. But wasn't that the whole point of starting up ChildLine back then?

BonzoDooDah Wed 10-Oct-12 00:06:42

what hellsbells said - who's baying for that producer's blood???


He heard and knew and did nothing.

That poor, poor child sad

HardHittingLeafletCampaign Wed 10-Oct-12 00:08:55

I think Esther Rantzen has done more for thousands of children through Childline than can be matched by many others. I phoned them as a child and felt I had nowhere else to turn.

hellsbells76 Wed 10-Oct-12 00:10:29

...and I thought it was bloody disgusting that the interviewer didnf challenge him on that either. He asked far more searching questions to ER at the end of the programme yet here was someone who had direct knowledge, was in a position of authority over Savile at the time, and did fuck all.

spareidentity Wed 10-Oct-12 00:10:29

NO hellsbells, that is not what this is. This is about the founder and spokesperson a the country's leading child protection charity, and whether or not she knew about child abuse and did not speak out. It is her role and not her gender that gives her, in my eyes at least, some responsibility.

The former male producer you mention was Wilfred De'Ath. I found his reaction/testimony pretty shocking, as you did. But he didn't go on to found Childline, and that is what I find so upsetting and shocking about Rantzen.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Wed 10-Oct-12 00:10:46

She was not running Childline in the 70's it started in the 80's

I still unsure what you expected her to do a piece on That's Life confront him herself

Strange how Paul Gambaccni was praised for speaking out admitting he knew this

perceptionreality Wed 10-Oct-12 00:12:18

Nonsense Claireabella - these women all have practically identical stories - why do you choose to disbelieve them? Imagine if this was your dd - hopefully you would believe her?

Furthermore there are LOADS of people who worked at the bbc now admitting they knew what he was doing.

Can't defend himself? The primary issue is he was never made accountable for his actions. This man was a SEX OFFENDER. And I personally find it ironic that the same people who shout hang the paedophiles also feel more sorry for his family than his victims!

BonzoDooDah Wed 10-Oct-12 00:12:32

like you say hellsbells bloody mysogenistic bloody society. Blame the women - they're supposed to be the ones that care ...

So, they both knew (him possibly more definitely than her) and one of them did nothing. The other founded Childline and we think SHE is the worse one...

Proudnscary Wed 10-Oct-12 00:12:50

I didn't praise Paul Gamaccini

I condemn anyone who knew

But especially Esther Rantzen because she founded ChildLine. Not because she's a woman [hmm}

Proudnscary Wed 10-Oct-12 00:13:14

That'd be hmm

BonzoDooDah Wed 10-Oct-12 00:14:24

No spareidentity he did exactly NOTHING!!! Nothing. He KNEW without doubt and did nothing. She heard a rumour and set up a charity to support vunerable kids. Why are you still ranting about ER and not that bloody bloke??

spareidentity Wed 10-Oct-12 00:14:26

^^ What Proudnscary said.

BonzoDooDah Wed 10-Oct-12 00:15:28

(going to bed in a foul mood now - goodnight all)

spareidentity Wed 10-Oct-12 00:17:42

I need to go to bed soon, but thanks everyone for your thoughts.I'll come back to this tomorrow eve.

Has anyone actually watched the video of the news interview yet? I'd be interested to hear people's reactions to it...

FreudiansGoldSlipper Wed 10-Oct-12 00:17:59

Me too and equally in bad mood sad

BonzoDooDah Wed 10-Oct-12 00:19:56

(I really am going) I did watch it - and I thought she didn't know enough to report and I'd be more interested to hear what that dick of a producer had to say for himself and how he justified absolutely definitively knowing that Saville had a 12 year old girl in his bed - and did nothing. Nothing about it.
She could have been any one of us or our daughters ....

spareidentity Wed 10-Oct-12 00:22:18

Bonzo - "He KNEW without doubt and did nothing. She heard a rumour and set up a charity to support vunerable kids. Why are you still ranting about ER and not that bloody bloke??"
^^ That's a fair question. I think it's because she has a voice, power and influence - and a particualr public role where she is supposed to stand up against child abuse... Whereas he's a little bloke I'd never heard of before tonight.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Wed 10-Oct-12 00:22:28

Quickly yes i did. Not a great response from her when questioned why she said nothing when she headed Childline, i get what she is saying. She said they all colluded so many of them and this enabled him to get away

Proudnscary Wed 10-Oct-12 00:24:29

No excuse. None.

spareidentity Wed 10-Oct-12 00:26:22

I didn't mean have you watched the documentary - I had the same reaction to you when I saw that.... I meant the Sky interview with Ranzten. - That's when I thought "Bloody hell, she knew", and felt so shocked.

(Don't go to bed in bad moods, Bonzo and FGS, please . I appreciate your views and I am listening).

GranToAirMissiles Wed 10-Oct-12 00:30:44

BonzoDooDah, I found him creepy precisely because you could see he did not respect boundaries - invading people's space both physically and verbally.

BegoniaBampot Wed 10-Oct-12 00:34:00

So she's human and not perfect and not Saint Esther. Are the ones being so critical of her so sure they would have done so different to her back then, are you so sure if you were in her position you would have spoke up on a rumour and took all the fall out and flack that went with it?

FreudiansGoldSlipper Wed 10-Oct-12 00:35:58

All I can say is read the other thread on our experiences of abuse and how often it was just swept under the carpet, how being touched inappropriately was just part of life

No one is saying it is right its just recognising that because of attitudes with his power JS managed get away with it. I am glad there will be an investigation would never have come out while he was alive it's sickening

hellsbells76 Wed 10-Oct-12 00:37:00

You may not have heard of him but he had quite a lot of power at the beeb. In fact on the same night as the Savile doc was shown, there was a bbc4 drama in which a fictionalised version of him was seen giving Kenny Everett his first break. He was certainly more influential at the time than ER was (who was a long way off founding ChildLine) and he knew. And not only did he do nothing at the time, he was seen smirking and minimising it even now. She at least appears to be deeply sorry, thoughtful and guilty for her part in the collusion, even though there is no suggestion she had first hand knowledge or anything that might have been taken seriously.

Rosebud05 Wed 10-Oct-12 07:15:56

Those who think Rantzen should have 'spoken up' - what exactly did you want her to say to who?

<just watched the video>

I'm not sure that repeating 'office gossip' to her male managers would have been productive and I wouldn't imagine for a moment that even the police would have taken allegations about Saint Jimmy seriously in the 1970s.

The onus of responsibility is different on those who witnessed some abuse or who the victim of abuse informed.

However, ultimately of course Savile is the one responsible for the abuse and the whole myth of 'saint J' that he cunningly constructed around himself, and he is a much more appropriate focus of outrage.

JakeBullet Wed 10-Oct-12 07:22:16

I am there with you Rosebud, when you are a relatively junior member of staff it is very hard to speak up about what might be seen as "Office gossip" and lets not forget that ER is now being interviewed at a time when all that office gossip has proved to be correct. If I was in her shoes I would feel as guilty as hell, even though at the time it happened I might have been powerless to stop it or to raise concerns by asking "actually is this true"?
She heard gossip, she didn't know if it was true and JS was a powerful and saint like figure to many many people in power. In her position at the time I might have dismissed it as just gossip and nothing more.

Rosebud05 Wed 10-Oct-12 07:26:20

Thinking about it, even if the police did take it seriously, JS was so well connected that he would have found some way of silencing any allegations.

limitedperiodonly Wed 10-Oct-12 08:51:18

It is up to the police to launch an investigation if they have grounds to believe an offence had been committed.

They can't act on isolated rumours but there were so many that this warranted a closer look. I believe one police force did ask questions before dropping it. Why aren't we asking them why before picking on Esther Rantzen? And then we could ask other police forces who must have heard these rumours why they didn't bother either.

It might turn our that Savile was part of a shadowy conspiracy of High Court judges and members of Royalty but the most likely reason is that like other abusers, he chose his victims carefully to ensure they wouldn't be believed or sympathised with.

Most people, men and women, thought the victims were grasping little slags who got what they deserved. Some of them still do. As they do in other cases of mass abuse.

limitedperiodonly Wed 10-Oct-12 08:53:19

actually scrub 'mass abuse' for 'abuse'. Most abusers pick victims who won't be believed or whom no one likes much. They are not stupid.

limitedperiodonly Wed 10-Oct-12 08:59:12

Also the newspapers who all knew this stuff was true took one look at Savile and another at his victims and asked: 'Who will our readers believe and will they continue to be our readers if we go after one of their favourite showbiz personalities on behalf of soppy little slags*?'

* Not my description, in case anyone thinks it is. But one that is widely used by all sorts of people to describe vulnerable girls.

invicta Wed 10-Oct-12 09:08:10

If the abuse is true (which it is increasingly looking like), then ER can't be held responsible. Alot of people would have covered up for JS, and probably would have been involved also. In the 70s/early 80s, it was very difficult to be a successful female reporter - it was a very male dominated world - so females such as ER and Anne Robinson would have had little support.

Last year, there was a documentary on Lewis Hamilton and all his affairs, visits to strip clubs etc. It tarnished his perfect image. If such a cover up can occur today, can you imagine what happened 20-30 years ago.

Also, what would you do in this situation? Its easy to have suspicions, but harder to act on them. Also, maybe people thought it was malicious gossip, rather then true. Also, its easier to be wise after the event,

shewhowines Wed 10-Oct-12 09:18:35

How do we know that she didn't have conversations with the police and bbc bosses? She may have asked them to investigate but then it would have been out of her hands.

If she didn't actually raise questions at the time, then yes she should be feeling very guilty. Whilst she has undoubtably done a lot of good with childline, there does seem to be hypocrisy in this situation. No one is perfect though. She may well have feared the fall out and may have had to evaluate her chances of actually being successful in making him accountable.

streakybacon Wed 10-Oct-12 09:19:13

Do we know for certain that ER didn't say anything at the time? Perhaps several people did and found that the Beeb heirarchy closed ranks. We just don't know what people might have tried to do in the 70s to stop what was happening.

streakybacon Wed 10-Oct-12 09:19:56

X posts with she.

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 09:23:42

You can't take a rumour to the police. JS was notoriously litigious, unless you had concrete proof, you might not have got anywhere.

piratecat Wed 10-Oct-12 09:28:58

she's a bloody disgrace. he was not her responsibility but she had a responsibility to all that she has stood for with Childline. She must at some point have had conversation with Jimmy Saville within her career as patron of that charity, about her charity work and his charity work.

piratecat Wed 10-Oct-12 09:30:12

why can't you take a rumour to the police though? What does it matter if there is no evidence at that point.

You bring it to someones attention. surely. grrrr

limitedperiodonly Wed 10-Oct-12 09:31:32

The police won't say who has passed them a rumour youoldslag. If they did, informants would have to worry about far worse than getting sued.

It is the police's responsibility to react to credible rumours and there were so many about Savile that they should have done. He wouldn't have been able to sue them for investigating him with due cause.

I don't think they did because they didn't think the victims were worth it or didn't think having sex with underage girls in hot pants was much of a crime.

Mamf74 Wed 10-Oct-12 09:34:08

One thing I don't understand about all of this is that people seemed to have been aware of JS's reputation for donkey's years yet still kept employing him? It surely wouldn't have been much to just not renew contracts or sign him up again - and even if he went to court there is no comeback on not renewing contracts etc at the end of a period?

This, in my mind, does make the employers culpable, whether it was symptomatic of "the Age" or not - they had a responsibility and they neglected it.

Beachcomber Wed 10-Oct-12 09:37:36

I think we should be glad that she is clearly speaking out NOW and giving credence to JS's victims by doing so. She is also speaking out, about the misogynist culture of the time, a culture that meant so many people kept quiet about Savile. A culture in which there are plenty others who have done wrong either directly or indirectly at the BBC.

Good on that woman I say.

Perhaps she got involved in childline as a result of what she heard about at the BBC.

I don't think it is realistic to expect her to have taken on an entire culture of entitlement, misogyny and sexism on her own - because that was what this was about. It wasn't speaking out against just Savile but about a whole culture and environment. A very very difficult thing for a woman to do - and most women now that they will not be heard, they will must likely be villified by the men who are invested in this culture.

They are the ones to blame for all this - the men who abuse, the men who turn a blind eye to abuse and the men who participate in a culture where abuse and sexual harassment are something to snigger about.

Don't blame the women.

I don't have much of an opinion of ER as a person, but she set up childline and she is speaking our now in a way that men who saw more than her and could do more than her at the time, still aren't.

"At this stage it is quite clear from what women are telling us that Savile was a predatory sex offender," said Commander Peter Spindler, head of specialist crime investigations, in an interview with the BBC.

Can everyone who is still coming out with 'If these allegations are true/he's not here to defend himself arguments please stop now.

Beachcomber Wed 10-Oct-12 09:43:59

Sorry for typos.

There is a 'now' that should be a 'know' and an 'our' that should be 'out'.

I agree with Mamf - JS's employers no doubt knew what was going on and yet they kept employing him and gave him a children's show???

These are the people to question and blame - the people with power (no doubt men) who kept employing a sexual predator and gave him access to young girls.

Just watch them close ranks and protect each other though. I bet they are dead happy if people focus on ES instead of them.

shewhowines Wed 10-Oct-12 09:48:27

beachcomber you do speak a lot of sense but I don't think you can lay the blame completely at mens feet. Some men, certainly, but there will have been both men and women appalled at the situation but afraid to speak out.

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 09:49:12

*I don't think it is realistic to expect her to have taken on an entire culture of entitlement, misogyny and sexism on her own - because that was what this was about. It wasn't speaking out against just Savile but about a whole culture and environment. A very very difficult thing for a woman to do - and most women now that they will not be heard, they will must likely be villified by the men who are invested in this culture.

They are the ones to blame for all this - the men who abuse, the men who turn a blind eye to abuse and the men who participate in a culture where abuse and sexual harassment are something to snigger about.

Don't blame the women.

I don't have much of an opinion of ER as a person, but she set up childline and she is speaking our now in a way that men who saw more than her and could do more than her at the time, still aren't.*

YY to this. you can't blame her for not taking on a one woman crusade against the deeply embedded mysogynist culture of the 70s and 80s.

I know I said you can't take a rumour to the police, but JS had a hold over the police too. He was enormously powerful and well connected, almost untouchable. This Teflon status was engineered by him and which is why despite being interviewed about sexual assaults in his lifetime, there was never enough evidence to get him. Don't go blaming ER for this- the set up was entirely created by JS.

The small true voice of a victim would have been swallowed up by the might of the JS machine.

difficultpickle Wed 10-Oct-12 09:50:03

At the start of this Esther came out in support of JS so interesting to see she's changed her story. Dreadful.

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 09:50:35

hopefully the ongoing investigation will ensure that this is never allowed to happen again and that no such conspiracy of intimidated silence will ever be allowed to repeat itself.

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 09:51:30

bisjo- did she?

pigletmania Wed 10-Oct-12 10:21:19

Wht was the documentary called, when was it on, I missed it. What channel

pigletmania Wed 10-Oct-12 10:22:22

The jimmy savil one

SeaShellsMyDogTrulySmells Wed 10-Oct-12 10:24:15

Just read an article in today's online Guardian with Pete Townsend, where he states he know things about js, but what's the point saying anything as he is dead now (I paraphrase).

The point is for the victims. And to stop this silence. Just cant believe people continue to collude in the abuse.

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 10:38:51

Pete Townsend is in enough trouble, he should be keeping his mouth shut, not defending dead (alleged) rapists.

MainlyMaynie Wed 10-Oct-12 10:46:28

Hasn't Viz being openly referring to these rumours for years? It's not like they weren't public domain information for sometime.

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 11:02:15

The rumours have been all over the internet long before he died, especially relating to Haut de la Garenne, which JS denied ever visiting despite being photographed there.

CFSKate Wed 10-Oct-12 11:31:27

pigletmania - it was ITV, Exposure - The Other Side of Jimmy Savile. It is on ITV player and youtube.

Beachcomber Wed 10-Oct-12 11:38:06

I agree that there would have been many men too intimidated to speak out at the time too - I don't think all men at the BBC are to blame.

But the ones who held (and still hold) the reigns of power and could really do something about a male entitlement sexist culture would have been men.

I just don't think we should be focusing on women like ER.

What were the police doing? Why did they drop the 2007 (date?) investigation? What was happening in the care homes involved? What were the bosses at the BBC doing? etc.

Beachcomber Wed 10-Oct-12 11:47:46

And we know how these things work - there is a general wink wink snigger snigger culture which lays a veil of 'can't take a joke/should be flattered/she was asking for it' humour to an environment of sexual predation, intimidation and abuse.

People who participate in this sort of culture make it very difficult for others to stand up and be counted. It is very pervasive stuff. And it is very intimidating for women because you know that you won't be listened to and will be squashed by those who are invested or implicit in the misogyny. You will be painted as someone with a grudge/jealous/a prude/vindictive/unreliable/etc.

Also surely there should be an investigation into the people who thought it was a good idea to let a bloke with a caravan show up to give vulnerable and powerless girls 'a good time'. I mean what the actual fuck was going on there??

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 11:51:11

Beachcomber, each time JS was interviewed under caution, they could not proceed with charges as there wasn't enough evidence to proceed with a case. The man was Teflon, he had so many people in his pocket.

limitedperiodonly Wed 10-Oct-12 12:12:57

beachcomber I asked what the police were doing too.

Hardly any criminals turn up at the front desk to confess. Even if it proceeds to trial, many of them still plead not guilty. But we still manage to prosecute them and gain convictions. Why not here?

It could be a powerful conspiracy but I think it's much more likely that people in all walks of society did not care about these particular girls and did not regard their sexual assault as a crime so much as a perk of the job.

It's not enough to say Savile was a powerful man. So are many people who are now behind bars for serious crimes. There was no will to prosecute.

Beachcomber Wed 10-Oct-12 12:21:36


If they had wanted to they could have got him. I agree that the police probably didn't consider these girls worth the time and the hassle - which of course is why JS selected them to abuse. sad

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 12:48:57

I agree that JS was cynical in his choice of victim, especially when it comes to children's homes. It was all too easy to label the girls as damaged and not believe anything they say. They had no voice.

However, don't underestimate how calculating JS was. In the Mailonline article written by his biographer, JS himself says "I could have brought half the (police) station down with me"

The poor girl who committed suicide. The police looked over her diary and concluded that she was just a fantasist. I hope they'll be taking another look at it now in light of all this evidence.

Inadeeptrance Wed 10-Oct-12 13:10:26

Esther Rantzen saved my life. I took an overdose when I was 13, and was too scared to wake my parents. I rang Childline and they persuaded me to get help. I almost died.

Out of ALL the people involved she is the ONLY one who has dedicated so much to helping abused kids, yet out of all of them she is being vilified.

Another example of the intrinsic misogyny that helped JS to get away with it for so long.

He was a paedophile and a psychopath and he MUST have had the backing of some very powerful people to get away with it for so long.

Blaming ER is much more convenient than blaming those who knew but actively supported and enabled him to do it.

The care home managers, his bosses, the people who knew, but didn't care.

ER cared and has saved countless children from horrific abuse. But hey, she's a woman, let's hold her responsible shall we? angry

aquashiv Wed 10-Oct-12 13:22:29

So because no one came directly to her then she didnt feel the need to say anything.
Wrong wrong wrong!!

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 13:26:29

aqua- I think you're going after the wrong scapegoat here.

BegoniaBampot Wed 10-Oct-12 13:29:32

Aquashiv - are you so sure YOU would have come forward and kicked up a stink if you had been in ER's position, really?

LaVolcan Wed 10-Oct-12 13:38:51

Yes, instead of going after ER let's go after all those men in high positions who knew the rumours, did nothing to investigate, and happily renewed JS's contracts year after year.

This William De'Ath who did nothing because he was a bit scared of JS - didn't he stop to think that the girl herself might have been scared?

PropositionJoe Wed 10-Oct-12 13:44:47

Janet street porter basically said the same thing on Question Time last week - that she knew of the rumours about JS and she knew of other sexual harassment in the industry but said nothing because she was junior and no one would have listened to her. Well she wasn't bloody junior a few years later, was she, she's now very high profile and influential. Like Sandi Toksvig and Liz Kershaw. And they all say they know of sexual harassment or sexual abuse of women, teenagers, children, it doesn't matter. And they are saying NOTHING, naming no names. It's bloody disgraceful.

BumbleBo Wed 10-Oct-12 14:13:56

They might be frightened, from what I have read JS was involved with a Paedophile ring that included very powerful people in the establishment. Investigations have been stopped, people died in mysterious circumstances. Very, very shocking, after reading the stories I wonder what has really happened to a lot of missing children.

PropositionJoe Wed 10-Oct-12 15:10:59


Beachcomber Wed 10-Oct-12 15:20:12

Seems to me that what is happening here is that various women at the BBC are speaking out now because they can.

Because JS is dead, because stories are coming out, because the sexism that was accepted in the 70s and 80s is a little bit frowned upon now. And yes, perhaps because these women are in more senior positions than they were at the time.

Blaming women such as ER, JSP, Sandi Toksvig and Liz Kershaw is focusing on the wrong target and is misogynistic. These women will presumably have experienced the culture of male entitlement and misogyny at the BBC (or the media in general), throughout their careers. Indeed it is victim blaming to hold them in any way responsible for the actions of their male colleagues and bosses.

I can't believe that people are trying to pin blame on women for men's sexual predation - except I can, it is all part and parcel of the culture that blame victims, protects predators and lets men get away with sexual violence against women and girls.

mumsbum Wed 10-Oct-12 15:27:05

Maybe what she knew is one of the driving forces behind her setting up Childline, which is an amazing organisaton.

limitedperiodonly Wed 10-Oct-12 15:48:24

YY Beachcomber

And aquashiv your anger would be better directed at the police officers who dismissed the girl who later committed suicide, and workers at the care homes, hospitals and approved school Savile preyed upon who had an actual duty of care to the children in their charge.

I don't want to bash social workers and the police. It's a very hard job but there is evidence of negligence here and if guilty, people should be made to answer, because this kind of thing is going on right now somewhere else. The only way to stop it is if these bastards know someone in authority is going to take their victims seriously.

Then we can ask questions of the showbiz personalities who may have joined in and at the back of the queue will be the people who knew about it but for whatever reason didn't say.

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 16:10:54

Beachcomber- what refreshing common sense. Excellent post, exactly what I wanted to say, but better worded.

pigletmania Wed 10-Oct-12 16:40:40

Thanks cfskate will watch it

PropositionJoe Wed 10-Oct-12 16:44:30

Yes but keeping quiet and refusing to name them now is protecting them, brushing it under the carpet just like used to happen and ensuring that IT STILL DOES.

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 17:14:18

Proposition, but maybe she has named them but to the police and not the media. She can hardly go to the papers with suspicions without getting massively sued.

BegoniaBampot Wed 10-Oct-12 17:56:04

JSP also said on QT when challenged on this that as 10 yr old child she was molested at the hairdressers when her mum wasn't around. When she told her mother later what had happened her mother hit her. This was the kind of culture many people grew up with. You knew to shut up rather than say anything, make a fuss, cause any trouble or you might be blamed and punished.

BonzoDooDah Wed 10-Oct-12 18:20:48

This all brings to mind something I saw when at Glastonbury back in 2002 (I think then). There was a HUGE poster / notice board along the railway track with a long, well written story (story is the wrong word) on it about child abuse and how it was rife in The Establishment - judges, police, industry leaders, the masons, etc etc etc - (and cotholic church now we see) it went on and on about how this was all covered up and anyone trying to break up the ring was liable to suffer "consequences" as it was so deeply entrenched in the political and public service. It was deeply disturbing and left me wondering what on earth could be done about it. And (a bit) wondering if it was yet another conspiracy theory rant.
Now it looks like it was very true. Don't know what I could do or anyone could have done. frightening ...

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 18:24:48

Bonzo, I've seen similar stories on the Internet long before JS died. It's unlikely ER or JSP could have brought them all down on their own! It's time we stopped blaming the women who were probably struggling against discrimination and misogyny themselves at the time. It was the "two sugars please love" culture for women in the 70s.

limitedperiodonly Wed 10-Oct-12 19:13:14

JSP and other people can't name those they know are guilty. They can tell the police and let them deal with it. For all we know they already have done. If for some weird reason they haven't, the police will soon be knocking on their doors.

If they name people these men will not only sue, they will try their hardest to dodge a trial.

I know that no one here has done it, but can people avoid referring to these people even by initials? And anyone who sees it, would you please report it?

I'm not a bossyboots, honest. It's just these people deserve punishment and I want them to get it.

Shenanagins Wed 10-Oct-12 20:23:26

Well said limited.

given just how powerful these women are in the industry and how they didn't say something indicates to me just how much more powerful the abusers were and may still be given that they and a great deal of others didn't speak out.

additionally given the culture at that time, i think that sadly a great many of us would have done exactly the same.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Wed 10-Oct-12 20:34:30

seems like some on here would like there to be a mass outing of those who are guilty in the most sensational way

we all want those who are still alive to be prosecuted but for it to be done the correct way so a trial can not in any way collapse and for others to be named and questioned if they have actively covered up for JS and others

YouOldSlag Wed 10-Oct-12 22:49:50

exactly, ER and JSP can't exactly blurt out names on This Morning or in The Sun can they?

They would a) be sued and/or b) jeopardise a possible future trial.

BonzoDooDah Wed 10-Oct-12 23:54:49

Youoldslag - I agree - and in case you were directing your second point to me - I'd already been saying ER wasn't to blame for not reporting but the producer bloke who absolutely knew should be rotting in hell for not reporting it.

YouOldSlag Thu 11-Oct-12 07:58:26

Bonzo- Agreed.

YouOldSlag Thu 11-Oct-12 08:05:17

Oh sorry Bonzo, reading my post back, the second sentence of my earlier post is in fact directed at aqua, not you.

I do agree though that if anyone knew FOR a FACT i.e not rumour and gossip, then they were very wrong not to come forward and protect any future victims by stopping the abuse.

However, some posters on here have been blaming female employees such as ER and JSP when female employees in the 70s and 80s had the smallest voices of all. That, I feel is making scapegoats out of the wrong people.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 11-Oct-12 08:19:06

I watched the video and all she is saying is that she heard a rumour in the office. That's it! She had no evidence. Rumours go around all the time, particularly about famous people, i would imagine that most if not a lot are untrue. People like spreading shit about, you can't call the police every time you hear a bad rumour about someone.

There was a thread the other day where the op said that she had heard that one of the dads in the playground was a convicted child molester, she was absolutely flammed and told to mind her own business. How is that different? According to some of you she should personally investigate him.

I think in this case its a lot of people looking back with the evidence we have now thinking that things in the past should have been done differently based on that, not what we knew then. Some people don't seem to understand that you can't base a decision in the 70s or 80s on info from 2012!

As for all those saying that they knew he was a wrongun because he was creepy, what a load of bollocks!

LaVolcan Thu 11-Oct-12 08:42:08

And look at the number of people now who are saying that the victims are coming forward so that they can get money for telling their stories! Even now, when there is so much evidence coming out.
So I can believe ER and JSP when they said they couldn't do anything at the time.

seeker Thu 11-Oct-12 08:52:29

"There was a former (male) producer at the bbc on that programme admitting that he had first hand knowledge that Savile was raping a 12 year old (he even spoke to her on the phone while she was in bed with him - it was 'demeaning' to him apparently"

That stuck in my mind too.

YouOldSlag Thu 11-Oct-12 09:44:05

LaVolcan- that's very true and it makes my blood boil. It's bad enough the victims were raped and molested. it's even worse when people don't believe them and say they are in it for the money. How cruel.

Seeker- that producer deserves to rot. It's collusion and it's enabling. Even in the 70s people knew it was wrong to sleep with 12 year old girls.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 11-Oct-12 09:58:07

I've had someone on facebook (started a thread about it yesterday) saying it was for the money. Some people are stupid disgusting human beings!

limitedperiodonly Thu 11-Oct-12 10:00:59

YouOldSlag Many people are obsessed with the amount of money they imagine can be made from 'kiss and tells' - I'm going to describe this testimony as that because that's how some people would describe it.

They can't believe anyone could have a motive for speaking out that wasn't financially-driven.

That also goes for people who sue for medical negligence or H&S breaches. Some people imagine that being brain damaged during an operation or being crippled falling off scaffolding would be like hitting the jackpot - plus these lucky bastards are burdening the already overstretched NHS rather than trying to ensure their future care and that it never happens again hmm

I think that says more about them than about the victims.

PosieParker Thu 11-Oct-12 10:02:47

Child abuse is a whole different thing nowadays, we view children differently. But not all of us. When I complained to my son'd school about a teacher bullying, a known bully with huge issues of rage and name calling kids (yr4), I was told by the Head that 'this is a man's career'! So we are still more inlcined to protect an adult than safeguard a child.

Look at threads on here where concerned people are called interfering.

socharlotte Thu 11-Oct-12 10:08:08

ER and JSP say they heard RUMOUR.I have heard rumours of UFO landings, and Elvis working at the chippy!
I would want some corroboration names dates places and maybe even witnesses before i potentially opened myself up to defamation suits against me.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 11-Oct-12 11:32:39

I think that says more about them than about the victims.

I agree!

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 11-Oct-12 11:33:10

socharlotte. I agree.

x2boys Thu 11-Oct-12 12:13:21

i am 39 so old enough to remember esther rantzen setting up child line and also old enough to remember jimmy saville in his hey day ie jim ,ll fixit the world was very different back then children were not beleived if they said they were being abused and just imagine if you were one of the poor kids jimmy saville abused everybody loved him jim ,ll fixit was the highlight of my saturday night viewing if esther suspected she should and could of done more i do think though she should be commended for setting up childline

YouOldSlag Thu 11-Oct-12 13:06:13

* if esther suspected she should and could of done more i do think though she should be commended for setting up childline*

I wish people would stop holding ER responsible. You can't take a rumour to the police and if you do, they can't act on it without concrete proof.

Don't underestimate a) how much women were disparaged and undermined in the 70s and even the 80s, and b) how extremely powerful JS was. He had connections to so many huge influential bodies: Freemasons, charities, hospitals, police.. Any single woman with only a rumour as ammo would not have got anywhere even if they'd tried.

The only person we should be pointing a finger at is JS himself and all those who KNEW FOR A FACT he was abusing children and did nothing. ER heard gossip at work. You can't take that to the police.

YouOldSlag Thu 11-Oct-12 13:07:06

Stop blaming women for the crime of a man.

LaVolcan Thu 11-Oct-12 13:14:58

Don't underestimate how much women are disparaged and undermined now.

We have seen enough celebrity women shamed after such claims! To this day it still happens.

She wasn't in any more of a position to "take him down " than anyone else. God knows what stunts and threats be pulled to cover it up.

ajandjjmum Thu 11-Oct-12 13:30:49

Feel sorry ER is being slated, when she could have continued her pretty successful career, and not invested the time and energy into setting up Childline. She presumably made a judgement at the time - which was that rumour isn't proof - and did nothing more about it. That doesn't make her evil - I think we all know who the real evil person is!

I was a similar age to some of the victims at the same time, and life was different. There was a teacher (RS!!) who was known for touching girls legs whenever he got the opportunity. We all just avoided him, and took the p***, but I would never have mentioned it to my Mum. I very much hope that DD would have told me. My friends and I knew it was creepy and wrong, but not that it was truly wicked, and probably thought we'd have been in trouble for telling about him.

Treats Thu 11-Oct-12 13:31:42

The reason why ER didn't speak up at the time is evidenced right here in this thread!!! Everybody's making out that it's somehow HER fault that JS did these awful things to those poor girls. Blame the woman.

Imagine if she HAD spoken out. The same thing would have happened - she would not have been believed and everyone would have said it was awful that she should say such things. Blame the woman.

She DID do something. She founded Childline. She realised something had to be done to change the culture of secrecy around abuse, to challenge the 'turn a blind eye' consensus that allowed these things to happen. She used her high profile and influence (which she didn't have to do, fgs) to initiate a sea change in public attitudes towards sexual abuse.

Of everyone involved at the time, she is surely the least to blame.......

Nd opinions and threads like these r exactly why no one said anythin in the first place sad if a celebrity woman felt she wouldn't be believed then no wonder the poor victims felt that way. Was it there fault too???

YouOldSlag Thu 11-Oct-12 14:33:00

Treats - good post.

x2boys Thu 11-Oct-12 16:32:56

i,m not blaming esther for anything i know you cant take rumours to the police but there were an awful lot of rumours he was a truly vile man who got away with abusing kids because of his status kids were treated very differently in the 70,s and 80,,s hopefully with safeguarding etc a celebrity will never be allowed to abuse their power in such a sick way again

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