Jimmy Savile: Louis Theroux says he ‘thought there was a sexual dimension to his personality’ but he didn’t know what
Theroux says he still thinks his 2000 film ‘holds up’ despite failing to reveal decades of alleged sexual abuse against the entertainer
Following Savile's death in 2011, 450 alleged victims of sexual abuse contacted the Metropolitan Police in just 10 weeks, with officials describing the scale of allegations against him as "unprecedented".
The documentary When Louis Met… Jimmy was released some 11 years earlier, before the mass allegations were made.
“I thought there was an aspect of him that I hadn’t figured out while we were filming, and then afterwards,” Theroux told The Times. “I thought there was a sexual dimension to his personality and I didn’t know what it was.
“But at the same time, I didn’t imagine it was as dark and horrible as it turned out to be.”
Theroux added that he has found it difficult to reconcile his “friendly” relationship with Savile with the accusations of sexual abuse.
“I think the programme I made still holds up,” he said. “What was difficult for me to square later on was the sense of having grown to like him a little bit, in particular in the year or so afterwards. And then to find out he’d done all these awful things…
“You have to try to figure out how it resonates with your experience of the person and try to square the two people – the one you experienced or thought you knew and the one that is presented in the accounts of the victims and survivors.”
Theroux made another documentary about Savile in 2016 in an attempt to try to understand his failure to have spotted the alleged decades of abuse.