Entertainment & Arts

Stephen Fry: Drug use different from sexual abuse cases

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Media captionStephen Fry: "I'm the only person I hurt" in drug taking

Actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry has said there is a "huge moral difference" between historical drug use and cases of sexual abuse.

He was responding to suggestions he should be arrested after admitting in his latest memoirs to taking cocaine in places such as Buckingham Palace.

But Fry told the BBC he was "the only person I hurt" through drug use.

He also described the late DJ Jimmy Savile as "an absolutely monstrous, depraved and repulsive piece of work".

'Lack of judgement'

Interviewed by Evan Davis on the BBC's Newsnight programme, Fry said: "If people think I should be arrested for historical drug abuse, that's fine. I'm the only person I hurt.

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Image caption Fry says he took drugs in high-profile locations including Buckingham Palace and the House of Commons

"I do personally see a huge moral difference between invading somebody's physical space, raping them, groping them against their will, having sex with when they're under age, and me feeding my face with stuff that did me harm."

He accused establishment organisations of being "so horrified by their own lack of judgement" about Savile and his abuse that they have turned against the same type of people; disc jockeys and light entertainers.

"If you want to talk about rock stars, do we have to name the rock stars that we think almost certainly had sex with 14-year-old children?" he said.

"But those 14-year-old girls were so proud of it that they now in their 50s wouldn't for a minute call themselves 'victims'."

Fry also said it was wrong to use the term "victims" for alleged victims "before the case has even come to court, before certain figures have even been charged".

He said: "If they're guilty then quite clearly there should be evidence, but they shouldn't be hung out like fly paper to try to attract other 'oh yeah, I think he touched me too when I was that age'."

'Patted bottom'

Fry was asked whether he worried about the possibility of accusations because he was in the celebrity circle in years past.

He said: "I've always thought them pretty repulsive things to do. I've never groped anyone as far as I'm aware. But groping is not the same as penetrative rape.

"Again, things are nuanced and it's pretty grotesque to grope especially an underage child who doesn't quite know what's happening to them.

"But it's not as grotesque as raping them. And the law has to be clear on that. Suddenly, everyone isn't Jimmy Savile just because they may have patted somebody's bottom, you know."

Fry recounts taking drugs in high-profile locations including Buckingham Palace, the House of Commons, BBC Television Centre and a number of private members' clubs in his book More Fool Me.

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