John Grisham backpedals on defense of underage porn: "I can think of nothing more despicable"

After stirring controversy over a seeming apology for child molesters, Grisham flatly condemned child pornography

By Jenny Kutner
Published October 17, 2014 2:12PM (EDT)
John Grisham     (AP/Andy Kropa)
John Grisham (AP/Andy Kropa)

In a recent interview with the Telegraph to promote his new book, famed novelist (and YA fiction author) John Grisham cited the case of "a lawyer friend of mine, a good buddy from law school," who allegedly (and by Grisham's account, inadvertently) downloaded underage porn. By Grisham's account, it's not that hard for "60-year-old white men" like himself, "who pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn" to end up in prison with harsh sentences, which the author lamented during the interview.

Faced with immediate backlash over what would appear to be a straightforward defense of those who engage with child pornography, Grisham backpedaled on Thursday, issuing a statement on his website condemning underage porn:

Anyone who harms a child for profit or pleasure, or who in any way participates in child pornography—online or otherwise—should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

My comments made two days ago during an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph were in no way intended to show sympathy for those convicted of sex crimes, especially the sexual molestation of children. I can think of nothing more despicable.

I regret having made these comments, and apologize to all.

Jenny Kutner

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Child Molestation Child Pornography John Grisham Pornography Public Apologies Underage Porn