• Germany's news in English
'I'm definitely not a paedophile': disgraced MP
Former MP Sebastian Edathy is in hiding after a child pornography scandal destroyed his career. Photo: DPA

'I'm definitely not a paedophile': disgraced MP

DPA/The Local · 27 May 2016, 11:18

Published: 27 May 2016 11:18 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The news shocked Germany when it emerged in early 2014.

Sebastian Edathy, a rising star of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) had quit his job “due to ill health” just a few days before investigators searched his home and parliamentary office.

His name was featured on the client list of a Canadian company that sold naked videos of children to customers all over the world for several years beginning in 2005.

Edathy was ordered to pay €5,000 to a good cause by judges in the wake of the scandal – only for the child abuse charity which was supposed to receive the money to reject the payment because of the nature of his offence.

The money was eventually given to the Lower Saxony Youth Fire Brigade.

But, the MP's disgrace also claimed the scalp of Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich – the first member of Merkel's cabinet to resign following elections in 2013.

While serving as Interior Minister, Friedrich of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) warned SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel of the investigation into Edathy thanks to his privileged access to the police.

Now Edathy has come forward to offer his own version of events in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) magazine.

'Misguided curiosity'

The politician – who the SZ reports now lives in an undisclosed location in north Africa – claims that “misguided curiosity” led him to pay for the videos of naked children.

“These films had nothing to do with [sexual] posing or pornography,” Edathy said.

“Everything I ordered was found [by investigators] to be just as I evaluated it myself, namely not punishable under German law.”

But while Edathy claims that he is “definitely not a paedophile,” with “no sexual interest in under-aged children,” he acknowledges that he might be a “borderline” case.

“I don't want to rule that out,” he told the SZ.

Story continues below…

“What I was accused of could have something to do with not living a full sexual life for a long time,” he added.

He complains in the interview of living off savings and the generosity of relatives – and of suffering from suicidal thoughts because of his bleak future outlook.

Now Edathy wants to return to Germany to seal a civil union with his partner, a hotel manager – although he is certain to be the focus of a storm of media attention if he does so.

SEE ALSO: Top Green MP steps down after drug bust

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd