Former Wigan Athletic footballer Marlon King vowed today to "fight tooth and nail" to clear his name after serving time in prison for sexually assaulting a woman in a nightclub.
King received an 18-month sentence at Southwark Crown Court in October last year after he was convicted of punching a 20-year-old woman while out celebrating his wife's latest pregnancy at the Soho Revue Bar.
His victim, who jurors heard had spurned his advances, was left with a broken nose.
King was found guilty of sexual assault and causing actual bodily harm.
The 30-year-old striker was released from prison last week having served half of his sentence and told BBC Radio 5 Live today that he is desperate to clear his name because he was wrongfully convicted of the assault.
"If every conviction was 1,000% right then we wouldn't have a chance to appeal," he said. "That would be the final decision.
"I'm here today and I will fight tooth and nail to clear my name and take it to wherever I've got to, if it's the last thing I do."
He also told the radio station that serving this stretch of time in prison - his second after he spent five months in jail in 2002 after being caught driving a stolen BMW - was like serving "two sentences" as he was away from his family and wife Julie.
He added: "I know I've made mistakes and I'm not perfect but I'm here today to clarify I'm not a sexual offender, I'm not a sex beast, I've never been convicted of sexually assaulting a woman before, I've never hit a police officer.
"A lot of things that were said were totally untrue but I understand why people have that perception because it's in black and white and it's in front of you."
King's wife Julie, who also appeared on the BBC Five Live show with him, said he was a "family man" and she would not still be in a relationship with him if he behaved in any other way.
Commenting on his previous 13 convictions, she said: "When you look at it on paper it does look terrible, there's no denying that, but I think Marlon can say of course he has been bad in the past and the records show that, it's just the details that people fail to mention as well, things that surround circumstances."
King, who was sacked from Wigan, is now looking for a new club and said the last nine months in prison had helped him reflect on his life.
He said: "It's been the biggest counselling session for me.
"Sometimes we live life and you don't get a chance to step back and see where you're going wrong.
"Maybe I haven't had anyone in my ear, I'm not making excuses, to just tell me 'look you need to...' I've never had that.
"I've always been in control of my own destiny and I've made a lot of mistakes but just because I've made mistakes it doesn't make me guilty of every crime you're accused of."Reuse content