IN the days leading up to the court appearance that was finally to

wreck his life and bury his career, Eric Cullen spoke to The Herald,

baring his soul about the harrowing traumas of his childhood, his

tortured youth and young adulthood, and how he was pulled inexorably

into the jaws of ruin.

What he missed most, he said, was the laughter. The laughter stopped

for all time yesterday. Why had he pled guilty, The Herald asked, when

he had an answer, or at least a partial answer, for each of the charges?

''I could never have pled not guilty,'' he said, ''because I could not

possibly face Frank Currens. It would be impossible for me.

''And if I were to plead not guilty on the charge from the BB camp

they would have to drag in about 80 or 90 boys for no reason at all.

They were all interviewed by the procurator-fiscal and everyone cleared

me. It would be totally unfair on the kids and the charge is absolute


''I took videos every year at the BB camp yet the police took out a

15-second clip from all these hours . . .''

The police, he says, took away every single video from his house . . .

Rab C Nesbitt films, pantomimes, family videos, youth groups, theatre

groups, Boys Brigade -- many many hours and from that they took out 15

seconds. A copy of that same video was given to one of the BB leaders, a

woman. She was shown it at the police station and she said to the fiscal

in a sworn statement that she saw nothing sexual in the tape at all.

Why, asks Eric Cullen, was she not charged with possession of the tape?

''Why were the other victims of Currens and the other two men who

abused me never charged? Someone else came forward and handed in videos,

yet no-one else has been charged. That is just one of many

inconsistencies. Another one concerns the man who allegedly came forward

anonymously and told them about Currens. How could he be anonymous when

the police said at the briefing that he had died of Aids? They must have

know him.

''I was charged with simple possession, no question of using that

material for gratification or anything else.

''Had they believed that stuff was really mine they should have

charged me on day one. Instead there was ten weeks delay. Had they not

known anything about Frank Currens they should have interviewed me there

and then. Instead the police never came near me.

''The video machines they took from my house were both broken. They

took away my word-processor. From that came the rumours that I had used

it to link up with a paedophile ring in Amsterdam. I couldn't load the

dishwasher far less use a computer for that.''

Cullen gave a different version of events in relation to the charge on

the banks of the River Clyde, saying that he had been forced to lie on

the ground and expose himself to Francis Currens, who took that


''I had no choice although people will argue that I had. I was 21 so

people will say I was old enough but I was conditioned to being

photographed naked since I was 13 and it did not mean much to me. It was

just part and parcel of the whole humiliation I had suffered since I was


Cullen spent more than four years in a special needs unit at

Motherwell College because of his early behavioural and slow-learning

difficulties. What people did not realise was that this was due to the

constant abuse he was suffering as a youth. After four years he gained

the Highers he needed for entry to college but even while there he was

being constantly raped because, he says, his abusers still saw him as

the young boy they had first molested.

One of the most difficult incidents in Cullen's life was the tracing

of his natural mother by the social services followed by a meeting in

her house at Elderslie after months and months of preparation.

''I had hoped to keep it quiet but my natural mother contacted the

tabloids and it turned into a circus. Then when all this scandal blew up

she was quoted as saying that she blamed my adoptive family for my

sexual abuse alleging that they had not done enough to protect me. That

was just total nonsense.

''I was taken to public toilets to do things with men. There are a lot

of men out there who have a part of my childhood and they have stolen

it. My relative got pleasure out of watching other people doing it, as

did Frank Currens. That is a recurring theme.

''In the last two years my anger has become more directed against that

relative who I believed loved me. I now regard myself as totally

asexual. I am petrified of relationships. I have a fear of physical

contact, even having a friend put his arm round me.

''I withdrew from Nesbitt because of ill health. There was a rumour

that I was sacked but that was not true. I am hoping and praying that I

can get my career back. I have had my childhood stolen and then my

adulthood stolen, two years of my life completely wrecked and I have

been virtually imprisoned. If I get my career completely taken away I am

being punished again for the sins of other people. It is simply not


''The only thing I know how to do reasonably well is to make people

laugh. I think I have lost out on the laughter and that is what I have

missed most in the last two years. People used to laugh but they do not

laugh now.

''Bill and Caroline's kids have been very important to me. Kids do not

hurt you.''

Eric Cullen told The Herald: ''I have never known what it is to ask

for sympathy. When you go through your childhood being raped and not

growing taller than a ten year old it is a word that is not in your

vocabulary. I know what it is like to scream for mercy but never to

receive any.''