The Who rocker Pete Townshend has credited his daughter Emma for helping him through his devastating 2003 arrest for using a credit card to access a website that allegedly advertised child pornography. The "My Generation" hitmaker has paid tribute to the 40 year old, who is a gardening writer, in a newspaper column for Britain's The Times.
Townshend claims his daughter's unwavering support helped him stay strong while police completed an investigation. He writes, "Even as a kid she seemed to grasp situations very quickly and know how to deal with them. She always knows the right things to say. When I got arrested in 2003 on the child-pornography charge, she was certainly one of the first people I turned to."
"I trusted her. She said: 'Tell the truth. Tell them you're doing research.' Emma and the rest of my family knew about the work I'd been doing. The press knew about the work I'd been doing, various charities knew, the Internet Watch Foundation knew... I'd become a dinner-party bore on Internet porn, and that included the intolerable idea of images of child abuse."
"I know it was tough for Emma. No daughter wants to watch her father go through that. But she was able to help me get through what was a f**king dreadful period of my life. Like I said at the time, if I'd had a gun, I think I would have shot myself. Emma's help wasn't just about her being my daughter. It wasn't just about family loyalty. Emma has this thing, this almost polymathic ability to shift her attention onto what really matters."
In a comment piece accompanying her father's tribute, Emma admits she could see Townshend was "struggling," adding, "Dads aren't supposed to struggle, are they? Dads are supposed to be invulnerable. Like Superman. To see him like that - to see him so fragile - made me very sad. The press were door-stepping me at the time and asking me how I felt, but, you know what? The thing that really stuck in my head that week was the death of (Bee Gees star) Maurice Gibb."
"I knew some people from that family and I just thought: 'How awful! Your father goes into hospital for a routine operation and you never see him again.' No matter what we were going though, I was just thankful that Dad was still alive and healthy."