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Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde has clarified some of the controversial rape comments she made while promoting her new memoir Reckless: My Life as a Pretender.
Hynde was accused of victim-blaming for telling the U.K.’s Sunday Times magazine that she blames herself for being sexually assaulted by a man in an Ohio biker gang, who forced her to perform sex acts and threatened her with violence, and saying victims “have to take responsibility.”
“Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing, and I take full responsibility,” Hynde told the Sunday Times. “You can’t f— about with people, especially people who wear ‘I Heart Rape’ and ‘On Your Knees’ badges. … Those motorcycle gangs, that’s what they do.”
“You can’t paint yourself into a corner and then say, ‘Whose brush is this?’ ” she continued. “You have to take responsibility. I mean, I was naive.”
She went on to tell the Sunday Times that if she was “walking around in my underwear, and I’m drunk” before being sexually assaulted, she’d be at fault. “Who else’s fault can it be?” she said. “If I’m walking around, and I’m very modestly dressed and I’m keeping to myself, and someone attacks me, then I’d say that’s his fault. But if I’m being very lairy and putting it about and being provocative, then you are enticing someone who’s already unhinged — don’t do that. Come on! That’s just common sense.”
When those comments were read back to her in a subsequent interview with the Washington Post, Hynde stood by her take, saying “sounds like common sense.” But in a new interview with ABC News, that aired on Tuesday’s Good Morning America, the Pretenders singer insists she was only talking about herself, not commenting on anyone else’s situation.
“I told my story the way I saw it. I’m not here to advise anyone or validate myself or justify anything. I say I regret a lot of things I did,” she said, adding of the uproar, “Suddenly I’m defending rape…I went places that no intelligent person would have gone. These bikers I’m talking about were dealing in some real hard drugs and criminal activity.”
ABC News reporter Linsey Davis asked Hynde, “Do you think women who dress provocatively in some way are asking for it?”
To which Hynde replied, “I never said that.”
She added, “I think women who dress provocatively are asking for something. They’re asking for some sort of ‘Why do you dress provacatively?'”
The candid rock star also took aim at today’s pop stars, criticizing them for making sexually explicit videos.
“Well, to me it’s pornographic, yeah, when you’re in your underwear and you’re bumping and grinding and singing your song,” she said. “I’m not trying to criticize other women. I’m saying if you’re selling sex then don’t say you’re a feminist on behalf of music because I think little girls get very confused by that. “
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