John Leslie on Daybreak: My 2002 trial-by-press wouldn't happen post-Leveson


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The Independent Online

In 2002 TV presenter John Leslie was arrested and charged with sexual assault after a string of accusations in the press. He was eventually cleared of all charges, but the stigma stuck and caused massive damage to his career.

Ten years later and post-Leveson, Leslie is back in the public eye and feels the time is right to speak again about his experiences. In an interview on ITV's Daybreak this morning, he told Lorraine Kelly: "Ten years ago the press were not accountable to anybody...I don't think it was personal what they were doing to me, I just think it was my turn."

Kelly also asked whether he felt his behaviour contributed in any way to what happened. He answered: "I was no angel and I have apologised, but I can honestly tell you Lorraine, I have never hit anybody or attacked anybody in my life and I would never do that."

The reaction on Twitter has been mostly supportive. @railwaywatch26 tweets "Just seen John Leslie TV interview with Lorraine & Aled. What a disgrace the MEDIA & CPS were/still are. Shocking, glad he's still sane."

@majestic888 says, "Rah!! Feel sorry for John Leslie!! The press destroyed his career and life! He was never convicted of anything and his career was over! Joke."

There were also lots of expressions of nostalgia. @Hannah_Robbo tweets "John Leslie and Bryan McFadden on ITV breakfast. It's like the last ten years never happened, does that mean I get to be twenty five again?"