The previous Blue Peter presenter John Leslie instructed a courtroom that claims he had grabbed a lady’s breasts at a Christmas celebration have been “loopy” and “ludicrous”.
Giving proof at his trial at Southwark crown courtroom, Leslie mentioned within the years previous the alleged incident he had been made out as an “aggressive, sexual monster” by the tabloid media.
Leslie is accused of constructing a “strong seize” for each of the complainant’s breasts on the celebration in 2008.
The concept was “simply loopy, particularly the best way that I used to be with every little thing that had been happening,” he mentioned.
“I used to be paranoid, I used to be conscious and aware of wherever I used to be. To go as much as a complete stranger I’ve by no means met and to do this is simply ludicrous.”
He added: “I’ve by no means assaulted anyone. I might by no means do this. It’s not in my nature.”
Along with his voice breaking at instances, he mentioned his life had been modified fully in 2002.
The jury heard that in that yr Leslie’s former girlfriend, Ulrika Jonsson, had mentioned in her autobiography that she had been raped by somebody whom she didn’t title. Leslie was named by a TV presenter on air who later apologised, saying he named him in error, the courtroom was instructed.
Leslie mentioned there had by no means been any sexual assault allegations towards him earlier than his title was wrongly linked to the guide, and described the fallout as “armageddon”.
“In a single day it was simply loopy and my life was by no means the identical once more,” he mentioned.
The tabloids have been “gunning for me”, and “they determined I used to be their man”, he mentioned. There had been “adverts for girls to come back ahead with allegations”.
In 2003 two fees of indecent assault made by one lady have been dropped, and never responsible verdicts have been recorded.
He had turn out to be reclusive, depressed and suicidal, he mentioned. “I misplaced every little thing.”
The complainant alleges Leslie grabbed her breasts and laughed, instantly after they shook palms, earlier than strolling away with out saying something. The jury has heard how she was left feeling shocked.
Earlier, the jury heard claims that a feminine companion of Leslie’s who was with him on the 2008 celebration within the West Finish of London had later apologised for his behaviour, saying that he typically bought “overexcited” and that it had been a very long time since he had been at a celebration like that.
The witness, a buddy of the complainant, mentioned she remembered “the aftermath”, however didn’t recall seeing the alleged incident.
The complainant was shocked, she mentioned. “John’s manner didn’t change. He was nonetheless very excitable and really completely satisfied to be there, however there appeared to be a sudden shift of environment from [the complainant]. And there was nearly disbelief and form of a galled feeling.”
One other witness on the celebration mentioned the complainant had instructed her Leslie had touched her breasts. The lady mentioned Leslie had “not been unknown to the touch individuals inappropriately”, including: “If somebody at a celebration squeezed your backside it was greater than prone to be John Leslie.”
Requested if she was saying Leslie had squeezed her backside, she mentioned: “Now and again, sure, he has.” Leslie denied this declare when questioned about it, saying: “That’s simply not true.”
Leslie, 55, who has an deal with in Edinburgh, denies sexual assault by deliberately touching the complainant with out her consent.
The case continues.