British police have made it clear that a number of former associates of Jimmy Savile, the late BBC host now accused of molesting children, are going to be arrested or at least questioned, and the first to get a visit from Scotland Yard can come as no surprise: Paul Gadd, a.k.a. Gary Glitter. The former pop star (who has already been convicted of child pornography in Britain in 1999 and having sex with underage girls in Vietnam in 2006) was taken into police custody and released on Sunday after one of Savile’s accusers said she had also seen Gadd having sex with an underage girl in Savile’s dressing room, “which was packed with lots of people.” The scene sounds like one that could implicate whomever was on hand, as the accuser described Glitter as being “particularly horrible and only interested in getting as much sex as he could possibly get from any girl.” Ick. As it happens, the BBC documentary that first publicized the allegations against Savile also included footage of Savile defending Glitter’s child porn, saying he “didn’t do anything wrong,” but was “demonized.” Not exactly the coveted endorsement.
Meanwhile, the Times continues probing its incoming CEO, Mark Thompson, formerly the director-general of the BBC, about what he knew about the allegations against Savile, and when. It reports on a story in Britain’s Sunday Times, in which a freelance journalist named Miles Goslett describes calling Thompson in May with questions about the allegations against Savile and the BBC’s decision to kill a Newsnight documentary about them. He said he had filed a freedom of information request in April asking for records of BBC executives’ communications about Savile.
In an interview, Mr. Goslett said that when his request was denied in mid-May, he called Mr. Thompson’s office and told an aide, Jessica Cecil, that he wanted to talk to Mr. Thompson about his request and also about “claims that I was aware of that had been made to ‘Newsnight’ that girls were abused on BBC premises by Jimmy Savile in the 1970s.”
He said Ms. Cecil referred him to the BBC’s media relations office. A BBC spokeswoman said Sunday that Ms. Cecil did not recall that Mr. Goslett “mentioned the nature of the allegations against Savile.”
One former BBC employee who went on to direct Channel 5, a BBC competitor, told the Times, “The big failing internally, and this is where Mark comes into the picture, is the deliberate incuriosity of the senior executives … There is a culture of avoiding knowledge so as to evade responsibility.” If it turns out Thompson had a hand in covering up the allegations against Savile by killing the Newsnight investigation, it could certainly affect his new job at the Times.