Monday 2 December 2013, 12:03 | By Chris Cooke
Lostprophets comment on Watkins’ crimes
The other former members of Lostprophets have issued a statement following the very short trial of their one-time bandmate Ian Watkins last week.
As previously reported, after denying the list of charges against him for nearly a year, the Lostprophets frontman finally pleaded guilty last Tuesday to various sexual abuse crimes, including two counts of attempting to rape an eleven month old baby and conspiring to rape another similarly aged child.
Since Watkins was arrested a year ago, the rest of Lostprophets have only commented three times. Once to express their shock at the allegations and to tell fans that they were learning about their bandmate’s then alleged crimes at the same time as the public. Then to confirm they would no longer be performing under the Lostprophets name. And then last week the band’s guitarist Lee Gaze posted a short tweet after Watkins had pleaded guilty, expressing relief that the trial had at least been resolved quickly as a result of his ex-bandmate finally admitting to his crimes.
On Saturday the band took to Facebook to comment on Watkins’ guilty plea, and the crimes he has now admitted to. They wrote…
“Earlier this week, we learned that the allegations of child sexual abuse against Ian were true, and that he would not be contesting them in court. Until then, we found them extremely difficult to believe and had hoped it was all a mistake. Sadly, the true extent of his appalling behaviour is now impossible to deny.
Many of you understandably want to know if we knew what Ian was doing. To be clear: We did not. We knew that Ian was a difficult character. Our personal relationships with him had deteriorated in recent years to a point that working together was a constant, miserable challenge. 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.
We are heartbroken, angry, and disgusted at what has been revealed. This is something that will haunt us for the rest of our lives. Being in a band has always been a labour of love and a platform to inspire people, not to take advantage of them. It’s still hard to believe this is happening and that someone we were once so close to has destroyed so many lives, lying every step of the way.
Our hearts go out to Ian’s family, the fans and friends he betrayed, and most importantly, the victims of his crimes and others like them. We hope for justice, but also that Ian will truly take responsibility for what he’s done. We would urge any other victims to contact the authorities”.
The comments from Watkins’ former bandmates mirror those of others in the industry who worked with him, who likewise knew the frontman had become ever more erratic and hard to work with in recent years, mainly as a result of his drug addition, and who were also aware of sordid rumours about the singer being posted online, but who never imagined the true nature of his private life.
One former friend of Watkins, Cardiff-born and New York-based journalist Rae Alexandra has written about the shock of discovering the extent of his crimes for SF Weekly.