Despite his self-congratulations over the downfall of former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, HBO host Bill Maher has his own history of defending sex between adults and minors.
Back in 1998, the then-host of ABC’s Politically Incorrect reported on the story of Mary Kay Letourneau, the Seattle schoolteacher convicted of having sex with a 12-year-old student and getting pregnant by him. Maher took Letourneau’s side: “She is in jail because she is in love. That’s how I view it,” he insisted in video that went viral after Yiannopoulos’ exit.
Maher admitted that their relationship was “unorthodox” (the boy was fourteen when the episode aired), but argued “basically, they’re having a family and they’re keeping the mother in jail because she won’t conform to what society feels should be the perfect American family.”
Conservative activist Celeste Grieg was horrified, calling the sex rape. “Raped? Come on,” Maher responded. “How can a woman rape a man?”
Maher continued to defend Letourneau as late as 2007. “I’m the only guy I’ve ever heard who defends Mary Kay Letourneau,” he told Playboy in an interview.
“Are you saying teachers should be allowed to have sex with their 13-year-old students, as she did, and not go to jail?” asked Playboy with detectable shock.
Maher said he believed in a “double standard… If a 28-year-old male teacher is screwing a 13-year-old girl, that’s a crime. But with Debra Lafave [another teacher who had sex with a student] screwing her 14-year-old boy student, the crime is that we didn’t get it on videotape. Was he being taken advantage of? I wish I had been taken advantage of like that. What a memory she gave him!”
Maher even went out of his way to downplay the molestation charges against Michael Jackson. “The worst they said he did was a little grabby-grabby under the covers,” he said.
“Don’t get me wrong. It’s a crime,” he continued. “You shouldn’t be able to grab a kid that age, but when I heard about it, all I could think of was my being brutally beaten up on the playground when I was 12 — a kid punching me in the face while another held me down. If I could go back and trade that experience for being gently masturbated by a pop star, I would do it in a New York second.”
[image via screengrab]
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