Actor William Roache who plays Ken ‘not boring’ Barlow in Coronation Street has got into trouble for apparently suggesting that child sex abuse is a ‘result’ of what has happened in ‘previous lives’.
Asked for his views on Coronation Street co-star, Michael Le Vell, who has been charged with child sex offences, Roache told New Zealand journalist Garth Bray in a television interview: "If you accept that you are pure love, and if you know that you are pure love and therefore live that pure love, these things won't happen to you."
Bray responded: "To some people that sounds perhaps like you're saying victims bring things on themselves - is that what you're saying?"
Roache, who is a member of the Pure Love Movement, replied: "No, not quite, but and yet I am, because everything that happens to us has been a result of what we have been in previous lives or whatever."
He added "If someone has done something wrong, the law should take its course... whether they're proven guilty or not, we should not be judgmental about anybody, ever.
"We should all be totally forgiving about everything."
Roache issued an apology on Tuesday and said “I would never say that victims of sexual offences are in any way responsible for the abuse they have suffered and I offer my deepest apologies if anything I have said has been misunderstood in this way.”
I am not a survivor of child sex abuse, so it’s not up to me to decide if his apology should be accepted. But on the subject of people having ‘previous lives’, Roache has talked about his belief in reincarnation before in his autobiography Soul on the Street. So in the interest of fairness, let’s have a look at an excerpt just to make sure his views haven’t been misunderstood.
“I believe we all plan our lives before we incarnate. ...We may have made certain agreements with each other before incarnating, deciding to play certain roles in each other’s lives. It is all meticulously planned and nothing is overlooked and nothing is missed. To me, reincarnation is the only thing that makes sense of the apparent unfairness of birth. Otherwise, how do you account for a child that’s born into poverty in Ethiopia and dies of AIDS at two or three?....But when you understand about reincarnation, you understand that we are all spiritual beings undergoing experiences that are right for us at this time in our development. “
So according to Roache’s beliefs, a two year-old dying of Aids in Africa planned it. If I’d known this when watching Comic Relief, I would have pointed at the dying children being wept on by One Direction and said ‘Well, you did say that’s what you wanted! Harry Styles’ tears are just an added bonus, so chin up!’ Unless I’ve misunderstood Roache’s beliefs and if that’s the case, I offer my deepest apologies. Soz.
Roache’s views on reincarnation make Glenn Hoddle’s sound almost charming. Hoddle once suggested that disabilities are a result of “karma”. Which at least means I had no choice in being born a disabled woman in this lifetime. It was punishment for being a total badass in the previous one. Whereas according to Roache’s beliefs, I’d planned it all along. Perhaps I should change career and go into Event Management.
Roache last year hinted in an interview with Piers Morgan that he may have slept with up to a thousand women. Presumably, that’s just the ones in his current lifetime. I can’t help wondering about this. If everything is ‘meticulously planned’ what made a thousand women meticulously plan to shag Ken Barlow off Corrie in their next life? What did they do in their previous one to think that would provide them with spiritual development? Was one of them Eva Braun?
Forget those ‘advance care plans’ where people write their wishes for how they want to spend their last days if they get ill. I’m going to write an ‘Advance Life Plan: The Next One’ which clearly states: ‘If I get knocked under a bus tomorrow, I don’t want to spend my next life under Ken Barlow. I’d rather have the bloke who plays Michael Moon in Eastenders. Signed, Victoria Wright’.
So I’d better get cracking on my plan, I suggest you all do the same, ladies. Don’t take the risk. Or in the next life, one of you might get lost in the fog and end up notch number 1001 on Ken Barlow’s bed post.