Friday, February 19, 2016

British TV personality says he's been cleared of latest sex assault allegations - but claims his life has been ruined

Another case showing why the identity of an accused person should not be made known unless and until they are convicted of an offence

Mr Leslie, whose life was all but destroyed by two similar allegations in 2003 and 2004, for which he was never convicted, is now campaigning for anonymity for those accused until they are convicted.

He said: 'This has been thrown out, but it might still be difficult for me to pick up the pieces and resume my career, but my accuser will retain her anonymity. It's a tragedy for me,' reports Marcello Mega for the Sunday Mirror.

Mr Leslie added: 'While I am glad to be cleared I have served a hefty punishment for a that never was. The damage to my parents and to me is incalculable.'

The former This Morning presenter described his accuser as a friend and explained how it was her who asked if she could go home with him.

Mr Leslie, who once dated Catherine Zeta-Jones, said he had spent his last few pounds on a bottle of champagne for them both, and she had paid for their taxi home, where they had sexual contact, he admits.

In a detailed account he gave to his solicitors, he said that they fooled around, she kissed him softly, and she even remarked on how comfy his bed was after the awards night at Usher Hall on November 19.

Mr Leslie, who first thought she was out of his league, says they even embraced and kissed as she left, she put her number in his phone and he said he hoped he would see her again.

When he was told to go home when he arrived at work the next day, because of 'a complaint', he assumed he may have made a bad joke that offended someone at the office.

He then explained how he was later dragged out of bed by police officers, put in handcuffs and taken to the police station, where he as held for ten hours.

The former presenter said his mother had been 'in pieces' throughout the whole ordeal, and the first thing he did when he was told the charges were dropped was to drive to his parents' their home and tell them it was over.

Mr Leslie says that he has been told to pick his possessions up from the police station tomorrow and that he expects to receive official paperwork later this week.

His solicitor Mark Harrower had spoken to the taxi driver who took them home, he said, and he had testified to the fact that she seemed compos mentis.

Another taxi diver, who picked her up in the morning, also told him that she did not seem at all distressed.

But he believes he was stupid to let his guard down after being rocked by similar allegations in the 2005 that wrecked the TV career in which he once earned £350,000 a year as the presenter of This Morning.

Mr Leslie, who made his name presenting Blue Peter, was 'outed' as the alleged rapist of Ulrika Jonsson in 2003, but was never charged.

The next year, he was accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old, but walked free from Southwark Crown Court, London, after the Crown Prosecution dropped the case.

But five years later he faced fresh accusations of rape. This time his accuser claimed to have been attacked in 1995 when she was in her early 20s. In the end, the case never reached court.

By this time, a sex tape of him and former girlfriend Abi Titmuss having a threesome had emerged, as well as photographs of him taking cocaine.

Although he was never convicted of any of the sexual offences, the allegations effectively ended his TV career, and he had had to start again on radio in Edinburgh, where he lived a more modest lifestlye.

He now lives in a three-bedroom bungalow, as opposed to the sprawling £5.5million luxury home in London he once owned, and his disk jockey job didn't pull in nearly the same ratings.

However, his contract was not renewed in December following the allegations, and there is now now guarantee it will be offered again.

He added: 'It took me so long to get another chance, and it was going well. I wouldn't have thrown it away lightly and I'm devastated that I let my guard down on what was a really happy occasion.'

Police Scotland have not formally admitted that this current probe is over, and a recent statement says they 'continue to investigate' the report. But Mr Leslie expects an announcement to be made officially by the end of the week.

Original report here

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