Terry Hall of The Specials has come forward and revealed he was kidnapped at the age of 12 by a pedophile ring in France. He says the experience immediately lead to depression and substance abuse, which he has struggled for decades with as an adult.
The 59-year-old singer detailed the abuse on a recent episode of Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast in which he stated he was sexually assaulted by a group of men over the course of multiple days in the ’70s.
“I can laugh about it now,” Hall admitted about the abuse, which he called a “real eye-opener”, “but it sort of switched something in my head and it’s like I don’t have to do that and that’s when I started like not listening to anyone.”
Following the incident, he recalled seeking medical assistance. “I was sort of drugged up then on Valium for about a year,” he added, “and I didn’t go to school.” He dropped out at the age of 14 and began playing in bands, eventually joining The Specials in 1977.
“I find it quite easy to forgive and forget,” Hall confessed. “It’s like you can let that eat away at you but then well you know it’s pedophilia and it’s like part of life really. It’s unfortunate it happened to me but you can’t just let it destroy your life, it’s not good.”
The two discussed how depression can often influence art, to which Hall agreed, contending: “It helps, I mean I suffer from manic depression and avoided all sorts of medication for a long time, then 10 years ago I started taking Lithium and stuff and I’m still on these drugs. And it sort of helps, it sort of helps.”
Today, marks the release of Encore, The Specials’ first album to feature Hall since 1981’s Ghost Town.