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UK concert pianist wins right to publish sex abuse memoirs -

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ELEANOR HALL: A 40 year-old British concert pianist has won the right to publish a graphic account of the sexual abuse he suffered as a school boy.

James Rhodes' ex-wife had sought to ban the publication because she said it could harm their son.

Mr Rhodes took his case to the Supreme Court.

As Europe correspondent Barbara Miller reports.

BARBARA MILLER: James Rhodes says the abuse he suffered from the age of six at the hands of a school boxing coach turned him from a dancing, giggling kid into a walled-off automaton.

He says it was like being dumped from a sunny path into a freezing cold lake.

James Rhodes was to go on to abuse drink and drugs, to attempt suicide, and to spend time in psychiatric care.

Music was his redemption and he is now a concert pianist.

But when Mr Rhodes sought to publish his pull no punches account of his life, his ex-wife succeeded in gagging him, because she argued the content could harm the couple's son.

James Rhodes disputes that.

JAMES RHODES: He's not going to read the book in much the same way as he's not going to play Grand Theft Auto or watch 18-rated films. This is not a children's book.

BARBARA MILLER: The Supreme Court has now lifted the injunction which barred the book's publication.

James Rhodes says he is thrilled that he is being allowed to tell his story, but says he is reluctant to describe the ruling as a victory.

JAMES RHODES: The truth is, for someone like me who has had a healthy bank balance, well known friends, an amazing wife, a team of lawyers who charge prices you can't imagine - legal costs approaching a million pounds - that it's taken me with all of that 14 months to be sat here in front of the Supreme Court, finally being allowed to tell my story, I don't know if that's a victory.

If it has taken me this long, how the hell is someone from Rortherham, someone who was a victim of Savile, someone from Dolphin Square going to be able to be heard.

BARBARA MILLER: James Rhodes says it's a good but not great book, but he says the message sent by its publication is bigger than the work itself.

JAMES RHODES: There is a culture of secrecy and shame that surrounds both sexual abuse and mental illness and the more we can talk about it, the more it's heard with compassion, with kindness and belief and understanding, the better it is.

BARBARA MILLER: Outside court the pianist's long-term friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch, said it was an emotional moment to see a man who had been silenced in childhood and again as an adult finally be allowed to speak freely.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH: To re-experience that veil of silence, that inability to be able to shout for help is appalling. So today the relief of that is fantastic.

BARBARA MILLER: The book 'Instrumental' is published next week.

This is Barbara Miller in London reporting for The World Today.