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Chrissie Hynde relaxes at Van Morrison Belfast gig after rape furore

By Staff Reporter

Published 01/09/2015

Visit: Chrissie Hynde yesterday
Visit: Chrissie Hynde yesterday

She may be at the centre of controversy after saying that it can be a woman's fault if she is raped, but singer Chrissie Hynde appeared relaxed yesterday as she caught Van Morrison's gig.

The Pretenders rocker (63) was pictured listening attentively to the blues legend as she stood beside the hedge that envelopes the Cyprus Avenue street sign.

She was one of a host of celebrities who turned up in east Belfast for the historic concert, with actress Kim Catrall, former Formula 1 racer Eddie Irvine, celebrity chef Rick Stein, Twilight star Robert Pattinson, Catatonia singer and broadcaster Cerys Matthews, writer Brian Keenan and local singer Foy Vance all present.

Hynde was criticised at the weekend after she said she blames herself for being forced to perform sexual acts under the threat of violence. Aged 21, the star crossed paths with members of one of Ohio's leather-clad gangs who promised to take her to a party - but instead took her to an empty house, yet she claims to take "full responsibility".

She told the Sunday Times Magazine: "Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility. You can't f*** about with those motorcycle gangs, that's what they do.

"You can't paint yourself into a corner and then say whose brush is this? You have to take responsibility. I mean, I was naive..."

When asked whether the gang took advantage of her vulnerability, she replied: "If you play with fire you get burnt."

Hynde went on to say that women who dress provocatively while walking down the street drunk are also to blame if they are attacked.

But her comments were condemned by the charity Victim Support which said that victims "should not blame themselves".

Lucy Hastings, the charity's director, said: "Victims of sexual violence should never be made to feel that they were responsible for the crime they suffered.

"It is critical that nothing deters victims of sexual violence from coming forward to the police or to independent organisations so they can get the help they need."

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