The former glam rock star Gary Glitter told a court that he did not abuse three girls as he gave evidence in his trial for a string of alleged historic sex offences against young girls.
When asked by his defence QC Sallie Bennett-Jenkins whether he sexually assaulted any of the girls, he replied firmly: “No, I did not.”
The 70-year-old then offered London’s Southwark Crown Court an unusual insight into the life of a Seventies pop star, providing details about wig maintenance, and even giving an impromptu “beat box” performance from the dock.
Giving evidence with the help of lip-speak interpreters, the former star, now “profoundly deaf”, said he always tried to give his fans what they wanted. He said after the success of his Rock and Roll singles, he had amassed a large male fanbase, but after the release of Do You Wanna Touch Me, that all changed.
“Then it changed into absolute Glitter-mania. I can’t describe it was like 20,000 people at the airport in Melbourne screaming,” he said.
He chuckled when telling Ms Bennett-Jenkins that to this day, fans wanted items as keepsakes of his. “If somebody said ‘oh I like that jacket,’ I would give it to them, because that is how I feel about my fans. I feel like I want to give them anything because they have given me such a great life.”
Glitter also showed the wild-eyed stare of his stage act, explaining how he had developed it as a child after being told off by his grandmother. “I used to squint and she would say ‘open your eyes’ –she was a very Victorian lady.”
A short beatbox performance came as Glitter – who denies all the charges against him – demonstrated the sound of a banging heartbeat that would accompany his entrance on stage. Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, also told jurors he had kept his baldness a “closely guarded secret” because “In those days rock ‘n’ roll singers had to have hair”. His wig-maintenance routine, he said, included using the dry-cleaning agent carbon tetrachloride.
Jurors have already heard evidence from one woman who claims that Glitter first tried to kiss her in 1977 when she was 13. When she reached out to push his face away, she said, she was told off for touching his hair, with the singer claiming he had a “phobia”.
Glitter, from Marylebone, central London, denies 10 sex offences against girls in the 1970s and 80.
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