Former newspaper tycoon Eddy Shah said underaged girls can sometimes be to blame for rape.
In October 2012, the 69-year-old founder of the UK newspaper Today was charged with raping an underage girl at least six times in the 1990s. The rape allegedly occurred over a four-year period, when the girl was between the ages of 12 and 15. He pleaded not guilty in December.
A jury found Shah not guilty in July after 18 hours of deliberation. Shah said there was no real evidence against him, and that none of the girl’s claims were backed up.
Now, a month after being cleared of rape, Shah has said that rape charges involving girls under 16 who “threw themselves” at celebrities could be “technical,” according to the BBC.
“If we take the pop groups and people of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, who everybody knows that women were throwing themselves at them – young girls who looked 17, 18, 19 and 20,” he told BBC Radio 5.
“Rape was a technical thing – below a certain age. But these girls were going out with the pop groups and becoming groupies and all the rest of it, and throwing themselves at them,” he added. “You cannot put that down to the fact they’ve been abused.”
When asked if he was implying that underage victims were at fault for their rapes, Shah said, “If we’re talking about girls who go out and just have a good time, then they are to blame. If we talk about people who happen to be out and actually get ‘raped’ raped, then I feel no – and everything should be done against that.”
Shah’s comments are reminiscent of US Representative Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” remarks in a KTVI interview last August.
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin later said he “misspoke” in the interview.
“In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year,” he said.
What do you think of Eddy Shah’s comments?