The former bandmates of the paedophile musician Ian Watkins have said they were unaware of his sexually predatory behaviour.
Speaking for the first time since Watkins admitted two counts of attempted rape on a baby on the eve of a contested trial last week at Cardiff Crown Court, his former bandmates said they were "angry and disgusted".
Watkins, 36, from Pontpridd in south Wales, is the former frontman of the Lostprophets, a rock group he founded in 1997. It has sold about 3.5 million albums. The remaining band members announced in October that they had split up.
His former colleagues released a statement on Sunday: "We are heartbroken, angry and disgusted at what has been revealed. This is something that will haunt us for the rest of our lives.
"Many of you understandably want to know if we knew what Ian was doing. To be clear: We did not."
The message was signed by lead guitarist Lee Gaze, rhythm guitarist Mike Lewis, bass player Stuart Richardson, keyboard player Jamie Oliver and drummer Luke Johnson.
"But despite his battles with drugs, his egotistic behaviour and the resulting fractures and frustrations within our band, we never imagined him capable of behaviour of the type he has now admitted."
Watkins' admissions include conspiracy to rape a baby, sexually touching a one-year-old and possessing and making films of child abuse.
Former girlfriend Joanna Majic, 38, has alleged that Watkins had abused hundreds of young victims during years of secret offending.
She claimed besotted female fans of the paedophile are hiding the true extent of his offending because they secretly offered their children for abuse.
She repeatedly reported Watkins to the police from 2008 onwards but her accusations were not acted on at the time.
Watkins will be sentenced on December 18.
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