Super Bowl Furor: Pete Townshend Defends Halftime Act Amid Child Porn Accusations

Filed under: In The News

Pete Townshend of The Who performs at the Super Bowl XLIV Halftime Press Conference yesterday in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Credit: Jeff Kravitz, FilmMagic

Pete Townshend had a tough time with the rough boys of the media during a press conference on February 4. A reporter wanted to know how the sexagenarian superstar felt about the groups that have issued a "Sex Offender Advisory" in honor of his visit to the Sunshine State.

Townshend and his band The Who are scheduled to appear on the Super Bowl halftime show this Sunday.

According to ABC News, Townshend replied quickly, telling reporters, "I feel like we're on the same side.... I've been working as an advocate and agent of this kind of area of research and fundraising for over 40 years." He added that "For a family that has suffered the issue of childhood abuse ... common sense vigilance is the most important thing, not vigilantism," and that anyone with doubts about the validity of his appearance at the big game should do some research. "Everything you need to know, funnily enough, is on the Internet," the multi-platinum performer said.

Protect Our Children, Inc. sent the "sex offender advisory" to 1,500 homes near Florida's Sun Life Stadium, the site of Super Bowl XLIV.

Townshend pleaded guilty to charges of buying child pornography in the U.K. back in 2003, explaining that he had been doing research for his autobiography and that he believed he had been sexually abused as a child.

In December of 2009, the NFL responded to letters sent by the group Child AbuseWatch.net (CAN), in which they stated that they were aware of Townshend's 2003 arrest, reiterated that he had been placed on a watch list in the U.K. for five years (ending in 2008), and cited the rocker's support of numerous charities. The full text of the letter can be found at AbuseWatch.net, along with other letters CAN sent to the NFL, including one that calls for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign.

Do you believe Pete?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.