Ched Evans has called for privacy before he gives a "personal and profound" video statement next week.
The footballer – previously a striker for Sheffield United – was freed from prison this morning, after having served half of his five-year sentence.
Evans, 25, was sentenced to five years in prison in 2012, after raping an inebriated 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in north Wales. His friend and fellow footballer, Clayton McDonald, was cleared of the same charge.
The woman said throughout the trial that she had no memory of the incident. Evans maintains his innocence, claiming that the sex was consensual.
"Next week Ched will make a very personal and profound statement by video which will be on his site and available for use by the media should they choose to do so," read a statement on his website.
"Ched is now adjusting to normal life after serving a sentence for a crime consistently denied."
There has much been debate over whether or not Evans should be reinstated at Sheffield United following his sentence. The club is yet to make a decision, but a petition campaigning against his return has been signed by nearly 150,000.
Nick Clegg – an MP for Sheffield MP – said that the club would need to think "really long and hard" about whether to reinstate Evans, arguing that "when you take a footballer on, you are not taking just a footballer these days, you are also taking on a role model" and that Evans had committed "a very serious crime".
"Whilst we understand the media interest, we would respectfully request some privacy over the next few weeks," read Evans’ statement.
"Ched would like to thank prior to the video statement, the thousands of people from all walks of life who have supported him and believe in him."
The footballer’s family have criticised both charity Rape Crisis and the "sensationalist" media for their handling of the case.
His relatives claim that they have repeatedly tried to contact the charity to raise awareness of issues of consent, but were ignored.
Rape Crisis has denied knowledge of any communication.Reuse content