Glitter: The Popstar Paedophile

Glitter: The Popstar Paedophile – New ITV documentary reveals singer would ‘kiss children’ and ‘disappear with them’

It's sickening

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New ITV documentary Glitter: The Popstar Paedophile has revealed some sickening truths about how the Rock ‘n’ Roll singer kissed young children by a pool in Cuba – and subsequently “disappeared” with them.

The glam rock singer, now 79, is currently in jail where he belongs. However for decades he used his celebrity status to abuse young children, often in plain sight.

The British public now know the former personality only as one of Britain’s most notorious paedophiles.

Gary Glitter lying on a sofa topless
Gary Glitter at home in 1972 (Credit: Minnow Productions/ITV/Photo by B Moody/REX/Shutterstock)

Glitter: The Popstar Paedophile on ITV

New ITV documentary Glitter: The Popstar Paedophile explores the dark double life of performer and predatory abuser Gary Glitter. The feature-length show documents his crimes against children, which were committed both in the UK and internationally. Most importantly, perhaps, it investigates the failures to bring him to justice.

The true-crime documentary includes historical victim testimony, archive footage and interviews with those who met him. The lawyers involved in both the prosecution and defence of Gary Glitter during various different trials also appear.

The programme looks into how Gary Glitter used his “charismatic onstage persona” to cover up his predatory offstage behaviour. This meant that he was only brought to justice decades after finding fame as a singer.

Four years after one of his victims spoke out in 1993 to the News of the World, Glitter was arrested for possessing child pornography. He  later faced charges of sexually assaulting children. After serving a brief jail term for the counts related to child pornography, he was not convicted of any child sexual abuse charges. Gary fled to Cambodia and then Vietnam, where he was later convicted of committing sexual assaults on children.

Gary Glitter arrested under Operation Yewtree in 2012

Returning to the UK after serving nearly three years in a Vietnamese jail, he would face a further trial for assaulting three children after being the first person to be arrested under Operation Yewtree in 2012.

In 2023, just weeks after his release having served half of a 16-year sentence for those crimes, Glitter was returned to prison for violating the conditions of his licence. This programme asks why victims were largely ignored when they first came forward and reflects on the collective responsibility of those who may have been aware of Glitter’s actions.

Like Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris, glam rock singer Gary Glitter (real name Paul Gadd) was a monster hiding in plain sight. He remains in prison today.

Gary Glitter in sequin jacket
Gary Glitter – aka Paul Gadd – led a disturbing double life (Credit: Minnow Films/B Moody/REX/Shutterstock)

Gary Glitter ‘kissed children’ and disappeared with them

In new ITV documentary Glitter: The Popstar Paedophile, a photographer describes seeing children being “brought to” the perverted popstar while he lounged by a swimming pool in Cuba. He subsequently “kissed them” and then “disappeared” with them.

Nick Ysenburg was working in Havana in 1997 when he came across Gary Glitter at a hotel. This was four years after the disgraced singer’s paedophilia had been exposed by a UK newspaper.

Now, Mr Ysenburg alleges that a man brought three young girls to Glitter around the pool. He says: “As the afternoon wore on I noticed one man brought three very young girls, probably between the ages of eight, 12 or 13. One of them seemed to know him. This wasn’t playtime-with-children behaviour. That’s sort of why it made me really suspicious in the first place.”

He adds: “The next day, another three were there. They turned up on their own. Then I had my cameras on me, so I decided that I would record this because it was getting sort of uncomfortable. He kept asking to put their arms around him. It didn’t look right at all.”

Showing the pictures he took, Nick continues: “Just strange, a man of this age with these three children and all this kissing. Then he would disappear and one of them would disappear. It was uncomfortable.”

‘A man in a great big wig with makeup in a purple velvet jumpsuit by the pool’

The photographer also describes how Gary Glitter first caught his attention at the poolside because of his wig and clothes.

He says: “There was a man in a great big wig with makeup in a purple velvet jumpsuit by the pool. And he stripped that off down to his little black briefs.”

After the experience with the children, Mr Ysenburg says he reported the incidents to the hotel staff: “I did even say something to the management. They would say ‘he’s fine, he’s well behaved, he tips well’.”

Ysenburg recalls how he knew “something pretty dark was going on”.

Gary Glitter in aviator sunglasses pointing at camera
The singer used his fame to get close to children (Credit: Minnow Films/The Dezo Hoffmann Collection/REX/Shutterstock)

‘Sickening’ Gary Glitter acts revealed in Glitter: The Popstar Paedophile

Meanwhile, Tiswas presenter Sally James recalls meeting Glitter on the set of her programme. She says: “If I think back now, no wonder Gary Glitter was always polite and nice to me…

“Because then that gives him access to more children, more… whatever it is that he was trying to gain access to. Which makes it even more sickening when you think back.”

Former detective Maggie Oliver says she believes somebody could have stopped him earlier. She says: “I don’t believe for one moment that some of the people that surrounded Gary Glitter didn’t know what he was doing.

“And my question to them would be, ‘Why did you not do something sooner?'”

Read more: Gary Glitter ‘will probably die in prison’ after being sent back to jail

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Glitter: The Popstar Paedophile airs on ITV1 and ITVX at 9pm on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

Do you think Gary Glitter should die in jail? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Helen Fear
TV Editor

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