Gary Glitter, the British glam-rock legend whose career lurched to an abrupt halt in 1999 after he was convicted on child pornography charges, is suing the Ministry of Women’s and Veterans’ Affairs for defamation, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, is suing the ministry after Minister of Women’s Affairs Mu Sochua asked the government to put Glitter on a blacklist of undesirables barred from Cambodia, Naryth Hem of BNG Solicitors and Advocates said.
The ministry’s complaint against Glitter was “based on accusation, no commitment, no wrong doing, just accusation,” Glitter’s lawyer said.
If Glitter wins the case, he will be allowed to remain in the country, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said Tuesday.
Glitter was sentenced to four months in a British jail in 1999 after pleading guilty to child porn charges over a collection of 4,000 hard-core photos of children.
Khieu Sopheak said in January that Glitter would never be allowed to return to Cambodia. On Tuesday, he said that Glitter was “very loathsome to humanity” and is a threat to Cambodian children. But, he said, if Glitter wins the case against the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, he will be allowed to live here.
Mu Sochua, who signed the letter asking for Glitter to be blacklisted, confirmed that Glitter was suing the ministry for defamation.
“I am horrified, totally terrified, of his presence here,” she said. “We will defend this case until the last minute, and if we lose we will have shown that we have done everything respectable to protect our children.”
As a sovereign state and under national immigration law, Cambodia is not obligated to accept Glitter, she said. “If there is a suspicion that a person is a threat to the security of a country and to the national image of Cambodia,” it is legitimate to bar them, she said.
Sok Sam Oeun, executive director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, said that even if Glitter wins, the Interior Ministry will have the legal right to bar him.