Nathan Carter’s interview with alleged paedophile pulled by RTE
Published 18/09/2016 | 12:01
RTE has made the decision to pull an interview with the father of an American country music group expected to feature on Nathan Carter’s new TV show, after the interviewee was arrested and charged with child rape.
Toby Willis (46), the lead singer of Nashville based group The Willis Clan, was arrested in Tennessee last weekend and charged with child rape, a crime that is alleged to have happened 12 years ago.
According to the Sunday World, Willis was one of the many acts that were interviewed by Nathan Carter in Sligo’s Knocknarea Arena in recent weeks, as part of his upcoming autumn show on RTE One.
In a statement to the publication, Willis’ wife Brenda asked for privacy in the wake of her husband’s arrest.
“I was shocked and devastated by the revelation of events leading to Toby Willis’s arrest. As these are very trying times for the Willis family, I kindly ask all to respect our family’s privacy. As a mother of 12, my first priority remains with my children,” she said.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began investigating Willis on August 29, after agents "developed information Willis had a sexual encounter approximately 12 years ago with an underage female".
RTE issued a statement following the revelations this weekend and confirmed the interview with Willis will be cut from the line-up.
“The interview with Toby Willis will not be featuring on the show. A number of performers were filmed for the series, but not all of them will make the final series. No decision has been made yet on what performances will make the final version of the series,” she said.
The Willis Clan features 11 of the Willis children and the group shot to fame after reaching the quarter-finals of America’s Got Talent.
The group has a huge following in Ireland, and did a nationwide tour last summer. The family performed during the 1916 Commemorative matches in Croke Park earlier this year.