David Bowie was a musical genius. He was also involved in child sexual exploitation.

In the 1970s, David Bowie, along with Iggy Pop, Jimmy Page, Bill Wyman, Mick Jagger and others, were part of the ‘Baby Groupies’ scene in LA. The ‘Baby Groupies’ were 13 to 15 year old girls who were raped by male rock stars. The names of these girls are easily searchable online but I will not share them here as all victims of rape deserve anonymity.

The ‘Baby Groupie‘ scene was about young girls being prepared for sexual exploitation (commonly refereed to as grooming) and then sexually assaulted and raped. Even articles which make it clear that the music industry ” ignor(ed), and worse enabl(ed), a culture that still allows powerful men to target young girls” celebrate that culture and minimise the choices of adult men to rape children and those who chose to look away. This is what male entitlement to sexual access to the bodies of female children and adults looks like. It is rape culture.

David Bowie is listed publicly as the man that one teenage girl ‘lost her virginity’ too.*

We need to be absolutely clear about this, adult men do not ‘have sex’ with 13 to 15 year old girls. It is rape. Children cannot consent to sex with adult men – even famous rock stars. Suggesting this is due to the ‘context’ of 70s LA culture is to wilfully ignore the history of children being sexually exploited by powerful men. The only difference to the context here was that the men were musicians and not politicians, religious leaders, or fathers.

Unlike the other musicians listed above, there is only one allegation about David Bowie. But one allegation is enough. There is no sliding scale of what is acceptable for child sexual exploitation.

Those who surrounded these musicians are equally guilty of failing to protect children. Many others actively participated in the sexual exploitation of children. Others knew and did nothing. Naming musicians is a start, but we also need to fundamentally change the music industry since child sexual exploitation and rape did not end on January 1, 1980 – as the allegations against Micheal Jackson, R. Kelly and the conviction of Ian Watkins make clear.

David Bowie was an incredible musician who inspired generations. He also participated in a culture where children were sexually exploited and raped. This is as much a part of his legacy as his music.


*Her age is listed as somewhere between 13-15 depending on the sources.

18 thoughts on “David Bowie was a musical genius. He was also involved in child sexual exploitation.”

  1. They were groupies. It was the culture of that place and time. They were not raped – they pursued the muso’s quite diligently, and looked easily late teens/early twenties in their platform shoes and make-up. NOT saying it was right, but it isn’t what it’s being made out to be here. I know, I was there on the scene at the time.

    1. People willingly participate in their own exploitation for a lot of reasons — financial needs, social pressure, lack of alternatives, ignorance, etc.; that does not make it less of a crime to exploit them.

    2. If you have sex with someone who can’t consent – because they’re underage, or incapacitated,or whatever, it’s rape. The responsible thing for adult men to do is to phone a taxi and send those girls home.

      1. Yup. Preach it. I don’t know why we have to keep on telling people this, man. Love Bowie, but he was a pretty messed up dude in his early years of fame.

        Truth bomb, folks: If you are in your 20s and beyond, and have sex with an underage minor (that’d be under 16 where I live)… you took advantage of that minor and should accept the consequences of your actions. In my mind, if you’re well into your 20s, you have no business having sex with a teen still in grade school – this is why they prosecute the teachers who sleep with male high school students. It is considered a serious matter when a fully-grown woman abuses her power and authority as the teacher, and sees an opportunity in a teen boy’s nascent sexuality. I can’t personally wrap my head around it – I see a teen boy as just that – a boy. Same with the girls. You need to be the adult in the situation and say no. And if you really cared about that minor’s wellbeing/”loved” them, you would have said, “Call me when you’re older and graduated from school, honey.” LOL.

        I don’t care how many times people want to yell, “But they were physically fully developed; look at the pictures! They look like adults” – Doesn’t matter. And I don’t care about how “wise” or “worldly” they apparently were for their age. Many, many kids in middle school or high school are precocious and/or have high IQs. And yes, most girls get their first period sometime in middle school (or earlier, these days) and I have seen girls middle-school and high-school aged who are more “curvy” than I am at 23. Does that mean that they are women just like me? Hell, no. They have not emotionally and intellectually matured yet – I don’t care if they think they’re an “old soul,” or whatever the fuck else Lori Maddox wants us to think she was. I read the article she wrote – she’s still as delusional as ever, unfortunately, and I suspect mental health issues. She and the other girls were born on the wrong side of the tracks, with absentee (or frankly, deceased) parent/s and with very little structure in their lives. From what I read, pretty much every single one of them was a high-school dropout, and after their groupie days were through, they never sought an education or had anything but low-wage jobs. Sable Starr cleaned up her act and became a game table attendant, but died of cancer while only in her 50s… I suspect her former lifestyle contributed to her health decline. When I saw some of the excerpts from this “Star” magazine the girls posed for back in the day, it is only too obvious from the interviews therein that they are just typical, street-smart LA teens, lacking the maturity and restraint of an adult. No surprise, there. Until the age of 21, your brain/neurology undergoes rapid, ever-evolving chemical changes at the cellular level which dramatically affect your intellectual development from year to year, and really, your personality at its very core (and this is why we have the drinking laws we have in the states). That’s precisely why when you’re in middle and high school, every year that passes truly feels like such a milestone, and you’re looking back on your freshman year when you’re a sophomore, thinking, “Wow, was I ever so naive/different from how I am now.” Because you’ve grown so much in the space of just that one year. And after turning 21, I can myself attest that my personality has remained quite static since my 21st birthday – I am so over the constant changes in mood and the hormonal, rather immature behavior that characterized my teens, and even up until the age of 20. You can be a smart kid, or a kid with a voluptuous body, but you’re still a kid! The law’s the law. ** ok, rant over **

  2. Look, many girls were not raped in the sense that they were forced. But the age of consent WAS 21 in the 60’s and 70’s. I too, was part of the London scene in the 60’s. I was also “chosen as a likely model” on Kensington High Street and was really excited about it. When I rang the number, I was questioned about my age and told there wasn’t a chance under the age of 18. It turned out it was naughty stuff but they had their (age) principles. Another time, I applied for a live-in job where the prospective Employer was worried about my age in connection with the fact that he liked to run around his home in the nude. Another man with principles. So yes, what these musicians dad was child sexual exploitation – don’t know it you could call it statute rape.

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