Lostprophets Members Could Have Been 'Groomed' by Ian Watkins, Says Child Abuse Expert

NSPCC says that the band could have been convinced into believing the former frontman was innocent.

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The former members of Lostprophets could have been "groomed" by Ian Watkins into believing that he was not a paedophile, a child abuse expert has said (via NME).

Watkins' former bandmates have faced persistent comments about whether they knew about the crimes committed by former Lostprophets frontman before his 2012 arrest.

However, Jon Brown, lead for tackling sexual abuse at charity NSPCC said that many of those close to abusers have no idea. "Abusers don't only groom their victims but those around them, convincing them that any accusations are groundless," he said.

Watkins last year pleaded guilty to 13 charges including the attempted rape and sexual assault of a baby, and was sentenced to 29 years in prison. His former bandmates announced their split in October 2013.

Earlier this week, Watkins' former bandmates said they had no idea about the crimes. "How could you know? How would you know?" guitarist Lee Gaze said. "Who would disclose such a thing to five people, who between them have eight children? You just wouldn't because they would be killed on the spot."

The band also said that relations in the rock band were so strained before Ian Watkins' arrest that they would have split up regardless.

Gaze says the final time he saw Watkins, days before his arrest, was at a video shoot for what was to be the band's next single. Watkins was "strangely positive and enthusiastic about everything," counter to the mood of the band. "[He was] talking about the next record and how it's going to do really well and get back on our feet. It goes to show how deluded he was. He is just completely on a different level to everybody, happy and positive and convinced we are going to be successful again."

The former members of Lostprophets, who now perform as No Devotion with Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly, recently released their debut single "Stay," and are set to release their debut album in early 2015. At their first gig earlier this month, they thanked fans for "sticking with us."

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Rubbish. And even if this were the case, what difference does it make now? That demented sociopath is is already going to spend the remainder of his miserable life in prison and the other members of the band have moved on and deserve to be distanced as far from Watkins as possible. Christ, it's disgusting that anyone even takes the time to talk about this anymore. It's all in the past now and where it all deserves to stay.
    They never suggested it did make a difference. They were just making a point. And it's true. I think the band mates really believed he was normal.
    In an interview, the band mates described him as surprisingly positive (not sure if they're the actual words), and this was close to when he was arrested. That being said, the band mates felt isolated from Ian; he did his own thing, and, again in an interview, they said whenever Ian entered an interview with the other band members, the atmosphere changed. From all the interviews, etc. it seems that Ian just separated himself from the band. There was no grooming of the band members. I don't recall Ian actually mentioning that the band members knew about what he was doing all along (if this is untrue, please direct me to an article which says otherwise as I am not aware of this being said).
    They never suggested it did make a difference. They were just making a point. And it's true. I think the band mates really believed he was normal.
    I disagree with you. As disgusting as it is to hear about child abuse, it has to be spoken WAY more often, cause in this way people will be more cautious with their children and more able to recognize potential abusers. You shouldn't just sweep subjects like this under the carpet and forget about it; It might be easier to do this, but children who were abused will profit a lot from a more abuse conscious society.
    Pick 'n' Finger
    If a close friend of yours turned out to be a molesting pedophile you wouldn't want to be constantly asked about it, too, would you? I agree the TOPIC should be brought up but by the love of god, leave the people alone, that just happened to be around those miserable people.
    I doubt it. Grooming usually involves people who are at least knowledgeable of the occurrences, but convinced through positive or negative reinforcement that the actions are innocent and acceptable. Given that several of the other members were fathers to young children too, I find it highly unlikely he let on about anything. Just a damn good actor, not a groomer.
    Can we just let go of their connection to that sick **** and let them move on??
    Sociopaths generally are good at manipulating people and acting in a way they think people want them to. Generally when people are guilty of these things it's usually a big shock to the people around them. It's not surprising the band didn't know anything.