Droit de Seigneur – Are Celebrities the Modern Royalty?

Some historians talk about the right of a lord to take the virginity of his serfs’ daughters. There is some debate about whether such a practise ever happened, or if the right was ever truly accepted. But true or not, the myth is well-established in Western culture.

And maybe we are now seeing a modern variant. Are certain celebrities being allowed to commit crimes simply because they are public figures?

Have celebrities become the new Royalty and are therefore above the law?

With dozens of charges now being brought against the late Jimmy Savile, we have to wonder who else has been getting away with behaviour that in a lesser-known person would be called paedophilia or perversion. And some of those may continue to escape justice by denying they ever even met the girls in question – unless they were caught on camera.

Women are saying they didn’t speak out because they thought no-one would believe them. Others did complain and weren’t believed. Are we allowing an unelected class of people free rein over ordinary people just because they are famous? Why should we trust someone who seeks attention above anyone else?

The neatly-rhyming phrase stranger danger has a lot to answer for. Not only does it lead people to believe that someone known to a child cannot be harmful, but now it appears that vulnerable children have come to harm because no-one would believe that a famous face could hide an abusive personality.

Lessons need to be learnt from this chapter of celebrity history. Never again can we assume that someone is above suspicion just because we’ve seen them on the telly.


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