In his new autobiography, "Confess", JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford opens up about an assault that happened early in his life at the hands of his father's friend. Asked in an interview with Variety how he has processed what happened to him and if writing the book helped, Rob said: "It's an important story. Sexual abuse is a horrible thing. At the time, it was terribly confusing and couldn't have happened at a worse time, for me as a young guy that was already dealing with trying to figure things out. Talking about it now, I can feel the horror and being totally frightened and wanting to run away, but at the same time feeling, 'Now this is affection, in a very crude brutal manner.' It was incredibly, incredibly complex. You can only imagine for a young man, dealing with that type of assault.
"Somebody asked me, 'Would you put that story in the book if your father was still alive?' and I hesitated. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have, because I would hate to have thought that my father felt that he was in some way complicit to that because he absolutely was not. When it comes to sexual abuse, people on the outside, they feel the guilt as well — 'Well, maybe I should have said something' or 'it's my fault for introducing this person to that person.' It has a domino effect. But it was an important story to tell.
"As a young person, you're impressionable, and it manifests itself in a way that really stays with you for the rest of your life, and turns you into the sexually dysfunctional person that I am now. I've come to terms with that in my adult life, [but] had those incidents never happened as a teenager, would I have turned out differently in the way that I'm intimate with people? Probably so."
Halford publicly declared his homosexuality back in 1998 during an appearance on MTV News.
"I think that most people know that I've been a gay man all of my life, and that it's only been in recent times that it's an issue that I feel comfortable to address, and an issue that has been with me ever since recognizing my own sexuality," Halford said at the time. "It's something that I've been comfortable with forever, something that I feel has a moment, and this is the moment to discuss it and to go into the reasons, and the whys and the wherefores as to the statement, the so-called coming-out phase."
Three years ago, Halford told Fox Sports 910 AM's "The Freaks With Kenny And Crash" radio show in Phoenix, Arizona that the response to his addressing his sexuality publicly for the first time was overwhelmingly positive.
"So I said that thing [during the MTV interview], and I went back to the hotel, and I thought, 'Oh, what have I done? There's gonna be a fallout,'" he admitted. "[But] I'd never seen such an outpouring of love from people in all my life — the letters, the faxes, the phone calls from everybody in the metal community: 'Rob, we just don't care. We want you to be who you are. We want you to sing those songs. We wanna come see you.' And that was a tremendously uplifting moment for me. And it was also a tremendously uplifting moment for metal. Because, for the longest time, metal was the underdog in rock and roll, metal was never getting any respect, metal was always at the back of the line. And so I thought, 'Well, isn't this great?' This just goes to show you that we in the metal community, as we call ourselves — probably because of the pushback that we felt because of the music that we love — we are the most tolerant, if you wanna say, the most open-minded, the most loving, the most accepting of all the kinds of music that we know in rock and roll. So it was a great moment."
"Confess" will arrive on September 29 via Hachette Books. The book has already been described by the U.K.'s The Telegraph as "one of the most candid and surprising memoirs of the year."