Grisham says sorry for child porn remarks

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Grisham says sorry for child porn remarks
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Author John Grisham attends the Broadway opening night of 'A Time To Kill' at The Golden Theatre on October 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Author John Grisham attends the Broadway opening night of 'A Time To Kill' at The Golden Theatre on October 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: Actor Sebastian Arcelus and author John Grisham pose as Grisham visits the cast of the broadway play based on his book 'A Time to Kill' at The Golden Theater on September 26, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 7: John Grisham, author, member of the Innocence Project's Board of Directors and chairman of the Mississippi Innocence Project, appears before a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee hearing on 'Turning the Investigation on the Science of Forensics.' The hearing is focusing on the science of forensic disciplines, the need for scientific research and enforceable national standards, and other challenges faced by the forensic science community. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Author John Grisham, wife Renee Grisham and family attend the Broadway opening night of 'A Time To Kill' at The Golden Theatre on October 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Author John Grisham speaks during a television interview in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, April 10, 2012. Grisham's latest work is a baseball novella, 'Calico Joe.' Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
TODAY -- Pictured: John Grisham appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer and John Grisham appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire
NEW YORK - JANUARY 27: Author John Grisham signs copies of 'The Associate' at Barnes & Noble Union Square on January 27, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 21: Author John Grisham attends the Innocence Project fundraiser at the Armstrong Ballroom in the Sheraton New Orleans on October 21, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Wolf/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Al Roker and John Grisham appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 09: Author John Grisham at the Washington National Cathedral Centennial Gala on November 9, 2007 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
400557 10: Author John Grisham attends a benefit reading for Frank Muller at Town Hall February 2, 2002 in New York City. Actor and audiobook narrator Frank Muller sustained debilitating injuries in a motorcycle accident in November 2001. The event was sponsored in part by The Wavedancer Foundation, Inc. and the Audio Publishers Association and raised funds to assist in meeting the immediate needs of Muller and his family. (Photo by Jeffrey Vock/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - MAY 15: Author John Grisham autographs copies of his new book 'The Runaway Jury' on May 15, 1996 at Barnes and Noble in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Stephen King Presents an Evening with Pat Conroy, John Grisham, Stephen King and Peter Straub: A Benefit for Frank Muller and Family 'A Benefit for Frank Muller and Family' at Town Hall in New York City. Pictured L-R: Stephen King, John Grisham, Peter Str
Two John Grisham books - The Appeal and The Assassin
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LONDON (AP) - Novelist John Grisham apologized Thursday for saying in an interview that many men imprisoned for child pornography offenses in the U.S. probably just had too much to drink and "pushed the wrong buttons."

Grisham told British newspaper The Daily Telegraph that U.S. prisons were "filled with guys my age. Sixty-year-old white men in prison who have never harmed anybody, would never touch a child."

He said many of those jailed "got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn."

Grisham made a distinction between "real pedophiles" and those he said were being punished too harshly. He said offenders did deserve punishment, but "we've gone nuts with this incarceration."

Child welfare advocates criticized the comments, made during an interview to promote Grisham's latest legal thriller, "Gray Mountain."

Jon Brown of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children told the BBC that "every image is a real child who has suffered and every time these images are clicked on or downloaded it creates demand that ultimately fuels more child abuse."

In a statement issued Thursday through his publisher, Random House, Grisham said his comments "were in no way intended to show sympathy for those convicted of sex crimes, especially the sexual molestation of children."

"I can think of nothing more despicable," he said. "I regret having made these comments, and apologize to all."

He said that anyone who participated in child pornography "should be punished to the fullest extent of the law."


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