‘I’m fighting for my life... a lost soul’
Date published: 06 September 2013
‘Devastated’ Corrie star fights back tears
“CORONATION Street” star Michael Le Vell choked back tears to tell a jury he is “fighting for his life” as he denied a string of child-sex allegations.
The soap actor’s private life was laid bare in court as he admitted being an alcoholic, having a string of one-night stands and an affair as his wife underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer.
And the court heard Le Vell (48) was a man with “demons” within, whose “victim” was either telling the truth or had given an “Oscar winning” performance in court.
On the fourth day of his trial, Le Vell, an actor in the soap for 30 years, stood in the witness box for two hours defending himself against 12 charges of child-sex abuse.
The “victim”, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims Le Vell repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped her.
Under cross-examination by Eleanor Laws QC, prosecuting, he denied suggestions he laughed or sneered as the victim’s mother gave evidence.
But Ms Laws tore into the character of the actor over his past behaviour in a series of terse courtroom exchanges and compared his need to be persuasive with an acting job.
Le Vell replied: “It’s nothing like an acting job. I’m fighting for my life here.”
Ms Laws told the jury this was “not a court of morals” but went on to ask about the “several” affairs Le Vell had earlier admitted to while married for 25 years to wife Janette Beverley.
Le Vell said one woman was more a confidante and there was “more to the relationship, more . . .”
“Than just sex?” Ms Laws interrupted.
She continued: “Are you quite a weak man? You have your demons Mr Turner, when you have had a drink or two? You are not your screen character or anything like it are you Mr Turner?”
The defendant replied: “I don’t pretend to be my screen character.”
Le Vell agreed it was his case that the alleged victim had told lie after lie first to her mother, then police and then to the jury in court.
Miss Laws said: “Pretty good performance, don’t you think?
“If she is lying, very convincing, wasn’t it? Almost Oscar-winning?
“Unless it is quite simple — you did these things and she is just telling the truth,” said the barrister.
Earlier, Alisdair Williamson, defending, asked Le Vell how he felt at being accused of the allegations.
“I’m devastated,” he replied. “I’m lost. I don’t understand where it’s come from. It’s left such a big hole in my life. I’m like a lost soul.”
Le Vell denies five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
The trial was due to continue today.