Vietnamese authorities said today (Nov. 17) they are searching for former British rock star Gary Glitter over his alleged relationship with a Vietnamese teenager.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Dung said officials have confirmed that Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, was residing in a home in southern Vung Tau city and had applied for permanent resident status in Vietnam.
Glitter rose to fame with glam-rock songs in the 1970s, most notably his only U.S. hit, “Rock and Roll Part 2,” a largely instrumental song that has been a staple at stadium sporting events for years. Among his other songs hits were “I’m the Leader of the Gang (I Am)” and “Do You Wanna Touch.”
Glitter fell from grace in 1999 when he was convicted in Britain of possessing child pornography. He served half of a four-month jail sentence before being released. He later went to Cambodia and was permanently expelled in 2002, though Cambodian officials did not specify his crime or file charges.
Dung said that Glitter had left the house on Nov. 12, and police are seeking his whereabouts.
“At present, relevant authorities [in] Ba Ria Vung Tau province are trying to trace this gentleman, and clarify the relationship between this gentleman and a Vietnamese juvenile,” he said.
Dung said authorities have conducted interviews with a 15-year-old girl who they found in the home rented by Glitter.
“If evidence of a [legal] violation is found against Mr. Paul Francis, and especially evidence of sexual child abuse, I believe that very strict legal measures will apply to him,” he said. In Vietnam, the crime of sexually abusing a child can lead to the death penalty.
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