Imagine this nightmare scenario: A well-known TV/radio host and media personality–let’s say Johnny Carson–dies peacefully after spending decades in the public eye as a respected entertainer, philanthropist and occasional newsmaker.
As the public mourns, a series of women currently in their 30′s and 40′s reveal inappropriate relations with the entertainer that occurred when they were still in their formative years, living at boarding houses and rehabilitation centers for troubled children. As the weeks go on, the number of accusers grows from a few to a dozen, then to several hundred. The worst part? Many of these women reported the abuse as it happened, but no one listened to them because the man in question was a celebrity beloved by an entire nation.
This is the story that’s captivated Great Britain for the past month–and it’s not going away anytime soon. The man was Jimmy Saville, and according to his many, many accusers, he molested teenage girls throughout his nearly 50-year career as a BBC TV/radio host and king of celebrity fundraisers. Yet many in the media seemed to accept him as an eccentric character with an unhealthy attraction to adolescent women. Friends and associates would often say, “Oh, that’s just Jimmy.”
Yuck. And it gets worse.