Former media mogul Eddy Shah had said underage girls who ‘throw themselves’ at men for consensual sex are to blame for the abuse they suffer.
The 69-year-old described rape charges where the underage victim willingly engaged in sexual activities with celebrities a ‘technical thing’.
Mr Shah, founder of defunct newspaper Today, also branded paedophile investigation Operation Yewtree a ‘witch hunt’.
In his first interview since he was cleared of rape of a schoolgirl aged between 12 and 15 at upmarket London hotels in the 1990s, Mr Shah said it was a difference between girls who ‘go out to have a good time’ and those who are ‘“rape” raped’.
Mr Shah from Chippenham, Wiltshire claimed that Scotland Yard’s investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile and other television stars from the 1970s and 1980s was ‘easy policing’ based on emotions.
‘Rape was a technical thing – below a certain age. But these girls were going out with pop groups and becoming groupies and throwing themselves at them,’ Mr Shah told BBC Radio 5 Live.
‘Young girls and young men have always wanted a bit of excitement when they are young. They want to appear adult and do adult things.’
Asked if this meant the underage victims were themselves at fault, he said: ‘If we’re talking about girls who just go out and have a good time, then they are to blame.
‘If we talk about people who go out and actually get “raped” raped, then I feel no – and everything should be done against that.’
When asked about Operation Yewtree, he agreed it was in danger of turning into a witch hunt.
‘I think it’s developing into that – it’s easy policing and it’s easy prosecutions. It’s based on emotion most of it.
‘It’s going back to the witch hunt theory. I’d rather be dunked in water for two minutes and if I came out alive I was not guilty, and if I was dead I was guilty.
‘In a civilised society there’s got to be more checks and balances before these sort of accusations are used,’ he said.
‘It’s great headlines in papers, it’s great to talk about these things. And it’s emotional stuff and the emotion always falls on the side of the person who is supposed to have been raped.’
Mr Shah said he had been helping a ‘very well-known person’ charged by Operation Yewtree investigators deal with the ‘horrible, horrible feeling’ of ‘emptiness about everything’ that he had experienced when he was accused of rape.
He also revealed for the first time that he had suicidal thoughts during his trial.
‘Every night I worked out different ways of committing suicide to help me go to sleep, actually,’ he said.
‘I was very low, the only time I was lower than that in my life was when we were told (Mr Shah’s wife) Jennifer had three months to live all those years ago. You cannot describe the depths you go to.
‘You just want to fall down and never get up again, you think “maybe the stress will kill me and that’ll sort the problem out”. I wasn’t frightened of dying, let me put it that way.’
Mr Shah, born Selim Jehan Shah, went on trial at the Old Bailey last month when a jury took 17 hours and 46 minutes to clear him of six counts of underage rape. The allegations dated back to the 1990s.
After the hearing he called for a review of how rape cases are dealt with by police as he said: ‘Anybody walking down the street can point at a celebrity and say, “he raped me”.’
The former newspaper proprietor and author claimed the case had nearly bankrupted him and his wife Jennifer, forcing them to sell their golf club. Mr Shah plans to write about his ordeal.