Bill Maher’s comments defending a sexual relationship between a teacher and her male student have come back to haunt the “Real Time” host.
The comments are especially controversial after Maher defended his HBO show’s booking of right-wing journalist Milo Yiannopoulos last week, then later claimed the credit for the man’s downfall this week after a video surfaced of Yiannopoulos making comments appearing to condone sexual relations “between younger boys and older men.”
The fallout over Yiannopoulos’ comments included the Conservative Political Action Conference revoking his invitation to speak this week, the publisher Simon & Schuster pulling out of a planned book deal, and Yiannopoulos resigning as a senior editor at Breitbart News.
Maher’s statements originated during a 1998 segment on Maher’s former show, “Politically Incorrect” on Comedy Central. In it, Maher defends the sexual relationship between Mary Kay Letourneau, a Seattle high school teacher, and her student,Vili Fualaau.
The relationship made national headlines, because the student was 12 years old when the relationship began and the teacher became pregnant with his child. After serving time in prison, Letourneau and Fualaau
married in 2005 and had a second child.
In the segment, Maher said Letourneau was in prison “because she’s in love.”
He also said, ”I admit that it’s unorthodox. She’s 35, the boy is 14. He was younger when they started. But she is pregnant again. That was the story this week. This is the second child by this boy. They are keeping the mother in jail, because she won’t conform to what society feels should be the perfect American family.”
Maher also responded to one of his panelists who referred to what Letourneau did as “rape.”
“How can a woman rape a man?” Maher said.
This isn’t the only occurrence in which Maher defended adults who had sexual relationships with male minors. In a 2007 interview in Playboy magazine, he also defended another teacher who had a sexual relationship with her male student, in addition to Michael Jackson’s alleged sexual relationships with young boys.
“I think it’s a little offbeat, but you know, I believe in the double standard. If a 28-year-old male teacher is screwing a 13-year-old girl, that’s a crime. But with Debra Lafave [another teacher who had a sexual relationship with her student] screwing her 14-year-old boy student, the crime is that we didn’t get it on videotape. Was he being taken advantage of? I wish I had been taken advantage of like that. What a memory she gave him. I would think he’s a champion among his friends. Are you kidding? Even with Michael Jackson.”
When asked for a statement on Maher’s 1998 comments, HBO told Business Insider, “Bill was not on HBO at that time.”
“Real Time” debuted on HBO in 2003. When pressed further on the 2007 Playboy interview, HBO told us, “It makes sense to us that all comments should come from Bill.”
Representatives for Maher didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
if bill maher thinks sunlight is the best disinfectant then here’s him saying the same shit as milo, that it’s OK for adults to fuck kids pic.twitter.com/tqPAzbGY3J
— warrior cop (@wyatt_privilege) February 22, 2017
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