Ian Watkins and the Protective Power of Fame

29 Nov

The case of Ian Watkins makes uncomfortable reading. His crimes are of course horrific, but the idea that the lead singer of Lostprophets managed to elude justice and continue being a pedophile turns the stomach.

It is hard to believe that no one around him noticed what was going on. I happened to see Lostprophets last year, shortly before Ian Watkins was arrested, and had no idea of the allegations that would appear – however can the same be said for those backstage who were close to the band, or his friends and colleagues?


Like disgraced presenter Jimmy Saville, it’s hard to conclude that his crimes weren’t covered up by his celebrity. Saville escaped justice completely, while it took almost 20 years to build up enough evidence to arrest Watkins.

Apparently, one of his ex-girlfriends went to the police four years ago but they didn’t take any action. How much influence his fame had on delaying his arrest we will probably never know.

Also like Saville, Watkins also used his privileged position to gain access to his victims. The details are horrific but suffice to say that his crimes would have been far more difficult if he hadn’t abused his status to seduce fans.

Rockstars have always enjoyed the bounties of fame. This often includes taking advantage of their sometimes innocent fans. Tales of excess and debauchery are part of the rock’s glamour – who can forget the infamous story of Led Zeppelin and the fish? It’s all too easy to slip into the pattern of giving eccentric rockstars a free pass to do whatever they want, until it’s too late.

The revelations about Ian Watkins will undoubtedly be difficult for the music world to come to terms with. However the message is clear – being famous shouldn’t make people immune to the law. Being a celebrity doesn’t mean they don’t have to face consequences.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: