Leslie: I contemplated suicide last year

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The Independent Online

John Leslie said last night that he had contemplated suicide after losing his job last year in the wake of sex assault allegations and the publication of pictures of him taking cocaine.

The former television presenter told the Daily Express that he was walking near his home in East Sheen, south-west London, on a cold day last November when he considered taking his own life.

He said: "Everything about my life was miserable. I had been sacked. I had no income. From successful TV celebrity, I had suddenly become portrayed as a vile monster and I could not defend myself. I thought the best thing would be to do away with myself."

But Mr Leslie decided not to go through with it, saying that his actions would have inflicted terrible pain on his parents and girlfriend.

He did not eat for a time and then could not stop eating, he said, dealing with the stress of events. He put on two and a half stone at one stage.

Mr Leslie also spoke of his amazement when his name was first linked to an Ulrika Jonsson rape allegation.

He told the Daily Express, which has paid him for his story, that the indecent assault he was accused of amounted to, in the version of his accuser, a "grope and an unwelcome kiss". He denied that those two events occurred and was cleared of the allegations in court on Thursday.

Mr Leslie was also worried earlier this year that he was to face another date rape charge, the newspaper said, but police told him when they charged him with indecent assault that they had dropped that allegation months before.

But Mr Leslie suffered a blow last night when Sky One announced that it had decided not to hire him. On Thursday, following Mr Leslie's emotional appearance outside court after being cleared, the channel was linked by a spokesman for Mr Leslie to a £1m deal to hire the former ITV host.

But a statement issued by Sky last night said: "Sky One has no plans to employ John Leslie." Sky One had allegedly offered him his own one-hour talk show, aired five days a week, which would have started in October.