“One day during the trial, I hear a story about Larry Parnes, Britain’s first pop mogul. He discovered Tommy Steele and Marty Wilde. Like many of the great British impresarios back then, he based his business judgements on his sexual tastes. “
If I am attracted to Tommy Steele,” he would tell his associates, “teenage girls will be, too.”
Parnes’s West End flat was often full of teenage boys hoping to be chosen as his next stars. If he liked the look of them, he’d give them a clean white T-shirt. Once he’d had sex with them, he’d make them take off the white T-shirt and put on a black one.”
Jon Ronson, The Fall Of A Pop Impresario
Here’s one that slipped under the radar – Lou Pearlman, the man who created *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, launching the careers of Justin Timberlake and Nick Carter, has been alleged to be a pedophile who preyed on the young men he mentored.
“I would absolutely say the guy was a sexual predator. All the talent knew what Lou’s game was,” Steve Mooney, an aspiring singer who was Pearlman’s assistant, told Vanity Fair magazine. “Some guys joked about it. I remember [one singer] asking me, ‘Have you let Lou [fellate] you yet?’ ”
Mooney said he once asked Pearlman, who was known as “Big Poppa,” what it would take for him to get into a band. “I’ll never forget this as long as I live. He leaned back in his chair, in his white terry cloth robe and white underwear, and spread his legs,” Mooney told Burrough. “And then he said, and these were his exact words, ‘You’re a smart boy. Figure it out.’ ” Mooney added that a singer groped by Pearlman told him, “Look, if a guy wants to massage me, and I’m getting a million dollars for it, you just go along with it. It’s the price you got to pay.”
Phoenix Stone, an early member of the Backstreet Boys, told Vanity Fair that Pearlman was “definitely inappropriate” with Nick Carter. Nick’s mom, Jane Carter, wouldn’t get into specifics, but said, “Certain things happened and it almost destroyed our family. I tried to warn everyone. I tried to warn all the mothers . . . I tried to expose him for what he was years ago.”
Tim Christofore, a member of Take 5, recalls that during a sleepover at Pearlman’s house, the music czar swan-dived onto his and another boy’s bed and wrestled with them wearing only in a towel, which came off. “We were like, ‘Ooh, Lou, that’s gross.’ What did I know? I was 13,” Christofore told Vanity Fair.
Rich Cronin, lead singer of LFO, recalled Pearlman told him of an “ancient massage technique that if I massage you and we bond in a certain way, it will strengthen your aura.”
Pearlman, 53, is in a Florida jail awaiting trial on bank fraud charges. Prosecutors say he scammed more than 1,000 investors out of $315 million. He’d been a fugitive until June when he was busted in Indonesia, living under a fake name.
As someone on the RI messageboard pointed out, what’s disturbing about this is the moral: Lou Pearlman isn’t in trouble because he was sexually abusing kids – Lou Pearlman is in trouble because he no longer had sufficient money and power to get away with sexually abusing kids.