1. Context and ‘Exclusion Clause’
I promised a further post in this series on sexual assault addressing accused celebrities. So, here it is – though my heart was not in it. It has not been an edifying exercise.
Like previous posts, and despite the title, this post covers sexual assault more generally than strictly just rape. Attention is confined to UK cases.In common with the post on politicians, this post covers all cases, including cases of valid accusations as well as false accusations. (These posts therefore differ from Part 2, which addressed specifically false allegations amongst the general public). My hope was initially that, by looking at all cases for politicians and celebrities, I might gain some insight into the rate of false allegations. I now realise that was a forlorn hope.
Unfortunately, none of the cases I have reviewed can tell us very much about the prevalence of false allegations more generally in the public. In the case of politicians and celebrities this is, rather obviously, because their very fame renders them unrepresentative. Both might be said to have a target on their backs, and both will tend to attract additional accusers once any initial allegation is advertised in the press. But even the cases amongst the general public reviewed in Part 2 are unrepresentative because they are confined to cases reported in the press.