Loads of people were aware that Jimmy Savile was weird. An eccentric, with a bad dress sense and a presenting style verging on the ridiculous. However, for many years he was a high-profile star of the BBC and glorified for his charity endeavours, which earned him plaudits from Royalty, the political establishment and the very media now devouring every detail of the allegations against him.
He is dead, so cannot defend himself and the likelihood is he would have no defence against the awfulness of his behaviour. That he was prolific in his abuse of young girls (and so far, one boy) appears to be borne out by the number of victims who have come forward in recent weeks. The catalogue of his abuse grows by the day, as do the number of those lining up to sue his estate for their past trauma.
However, some things make me uneasy about the whole affair. The BBC has come in for much criticism and the accusations are flying about that those at the higher echelons of the broadcaster were aware and failed to act. The press media and rival broadcasters are taking great pleasure in sticking the knife in. Of course people knew that Savile liked young girls, but how come in over 30 years not one media source acted to expose him? How come papers like the now discredited News Of The World didn't produce their own exposé? Over the years surely the tabloids made efforts to investigate him? Was he protected by his influential friends? Was there a lack of credible evidence? Were they scared that alive he would have sued and possibly won?
The media now appears eager to accept that every single allegation is true without question and the police seem very active in feeding information for public consumption, without any real investigation into individual complaints against him. Over 300 victims have come forward, but one can't help but suspect that some are out for the main chance, which sadly taints those who are genuine and who did fall prey to the worse excesses of his despicable behaviour.
Savile is said to have operated over a 30 year period and, it is no excuse, but times past were different. In a time when sexual exploitation was rarely, if ever, discussed, he and other celebrities would have taken advantage of what was on offer. Some openly boasted of it. And the question is, did he, like many others, take advantage of the situation and use his celebrity for sex, or did he force himself upon his victims as alleged? We may not like it, but there is a difference. Likewise, the implication is that his victims were under-age, but many of those who have come forward, were older than sixteen at the time.
Other "names" are now being dragged into the affair and more arrests will undoubtedly be made. There are a number of stars frightened of being tainted by the allegations, not that they would deny sleeping with "young" girls, but who would strongly deny "child abuse". They would, of course, also have to admit that they never asked to see evidence of a girl's age.
I am not defending Savile's alleged behaviour, but the right to innocence until proven guilty. If only one case was true about Savile, then he deserves his fall from grace and if he really was a serial paedophile then others must have known and should be called on to explain their lack of action. To allow him to continue was criminal. But the investigation needs to be undertaken correctly and not through the front-pages of the tabloids.