Jimmy Savile was one of the most recognizable faces in Britain’s entertainment industry. The DJ and broadcaster was known for his BBC shows and charitable activities. However, after his death in 2011, several survivors alleged that Jimmy was abusive, with investigators eventually believing there were more than 500 people whom the media personality targeted.
Netflix’s two-part documentary ‘Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story’ chronicles the long-running rumors when he was alive and the survivors who came forward with their stories. Karin Ward was the first to go public with what happened to her and set off a monumental chain of events. So, let’s find out what happened then, shall we?
Who is Karin Ward?
While growing up, Karin had a difficult life; she said that her mother wasn’t affectionate toward her and that her stepfather had sexually assaulted her. But things only got much worse for Karin when she lived at the Garfield House children’s home in Norfolk, England. Karin met Jimmy for the first time while living at the establishment. Regarding a camping trip, she said, “I don’t remember him doing anything to me. What I do remember is being raped twice during that holiday. The first was a fighter, and then the second man was a Frenchman.”
When Karin was about 12 or 13, she was moved to Duncroft Approved School in Surrey, England. There, she felt alright until Jimmy began visiting the place regularly. Karin said that he would pick up young girls, drive them around in his car, and take them to London, England, to check out his show at the BBC Television Centre. She mentioned that Jimmy would pass around cigarettes and sweets in exchange for sexual favors.
Karin admitted to performing sexual acts on Jimmy in exchange for a trip to the television studio. There, she alleged that the abuse continued in the dressing room. Karin further claimed that Freddie Starr, a comedian at the time, groped her as a teenager while attending Jimmy’s show. In the dressing room, she recalled, Jimmy always sat a girl on his lap and had his hand up her skirt. Karin added, “He was a dirty old man who had a liking for very young girls. His hands were always up your skirt or your top, and if you were wearing trousers, he’d find a way to slip them down your waistband. He just couldn’t keep his hands to himself.”
But sadly, the vulnerable girls didn’t really see it as abuse. Karin recalled them sitting and talking about what Jimmy had done to them while smoking the cigarettes he gave them. Years later, Karin’s psychologist urged Karin to write down her experiences, which she eventually published online. This led to reporters knocking on her door. While Karin agreed to be interviewed on-screen for BBC, the show was canceled at the time. She gave an interview for ITV in 2012, and an ensuing documentary brought the allegations against Jimmy to light.
Where is Karin Ward Now?
Karin struggled in the years after the abuse, having three failed marriages. She has seven children but, according to recent reports, has been in contact with only three of them. However, Karin felt relieved when other survivors came forward with similar stories. She stated, “In a purely selfish way, I was actually glad so many other people stepped forward and said ‘And me’ because I’d been vindicated.”
Karin further added, “For years, I’d told the truth and been accused of being a troublemaker or an attention-seeker.” In the past, she talked about setting up a legal aid fund for abuse survivors. It seems that Karin lives in Shropshire County, England, with her youngest child. She is also a cancer survivor.
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