Lost in the crushing sound of Milo Yiannopoulos’ fall has been the revelation that he was sexually abused by a priest named “Fr. Michael.” In his press conference Tuesday, after his comments on pedophilia were brought to light, the former Breitbart editor said, “Between the ages of 13 and 16, two men touched me in ways they should not have. One of those men was a priest.”
In the video where Milo talks about pedophilia, he states, “I’m grateful to Fr. Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him.”
There has been a lot of ink already spilled over what Milo’s comments on sexual abuse mean for the moral arc of the conservative movement, but no one is paying attention to the revelation that Milo himself was sexually abused as a young teen. Who he was sexually abused by? Who is Fr. Michael? Is he still a practicing priest?
Milo was raised Catholic and is open about his love for the Catholic Church. In Kent, England where Milo grew up, a Catholic priest named Monsignor Michael Smith was arrested in 2010 after sexual abuse allegations were made against him by victim who called Smith a “devious predator.” According to KentLive, a publication in Kent, the victim received compensation from the Catholic Church in a civil suit in 2016.
The victim, like Milo, was abused as a teenager but is now an adult, and was not the only sexual abuse victim of Fr. Michael Smith, according to KentLive. Smith was arrested in December 2010 after victims came forward with sexual abuse allegations, and Smith committed suicide by overdosing on painkillers just 5 months after he was arrested, in April 2011. Because of his premature death, Fr. Smith never went to court.
Was Milo a victim of Fr. Michael Smith at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Kent? Milo did not respond to a request for confirmation, but the location, the timeline, and the name add up.
The fact that Milo was sexually abused by a priest is a stunning revelation. It doesn’t take much acumen to look at Milo and realize that the provocateur act is the façade a troubled person props up. Being sexually abused by a member of the clergy is no small part of that.
In one of the closing moments of his press conference apology, Milo said that the message he wanted to give to fellow sexual abuse victims was that the abuse “doesn’t have to ruin your life.” He added, however, that “It’s certainly affected mine. It remains to be seen whether it’s ruined it.”