Le Vell says he is ‘devastated and lost’ by allegations
‘I still want to get to the bottom of why this has happened to me . . . none of this happened’
Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell leaves Manchester Crown Court on day four of his trial for a series of child sex offences. Photograph: PA
Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell told a jury he is “devastated and lost” after being accused of child sex allegations.
The actor (48) spoke in a trembling voice as he was asked by his lawyer Alisdair Williamson how he felt at being accused of the rape and sex abuse of a young girl.
In a packed and hushed courtroom Mr Le Vell replied: “How do I feel? I’m devastated, I’m lost. I don’t understand where it’s come from. It’s left such a big hole in life.
“I’m like a lost soul and I still want to get to the bottom of why this has happened to me and why I’m being accused of this because I know none of this happened.
“I have been walking around for the last two years just not knowing.”
The star, who plays car mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, is accused of 12 charges in all, which are 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 alleged offences relate to one complainant and are said to have taken place between September 2002 and September 2010. He is alleged to have raped the girl while she clutched a teddy bear during one attack.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wept as she told Manchester Crown Court Le Vell told her it was their “little secret”.
The girl’s mother described how she went to Le Vell and confronted him after her daughter told her of the alleged abuse.
She told the court she said to Mr Le Vell: “She’s made an accusation. You raped her when she was younger.”
She told the court: “Before I finished that sentence he said, ‘Oh you are joking! This is a joke! It’s a joke! You are having a laugh!”’
Ms Laws asked the witness: “Did he ask what she said?” The girl’s mother replied: “He never asked what she said.” She said her daughter later told her how
Le Vell used a teddy bear against her mouth while raping her and he would force the girl to give him oral sex. The witness said: “In the car she said, ‘It’s happened a lot more than I’m making out Mummy. It’s a lot worse.‘ “She said, Mummy, you don’t want to know.”’
Under cross-examination from prosecuting barrister Eleanor Laws QC, her opening question was: “Nervous?”
He replied: “As anyone in this position would be.” Miss Laws said: “You were a bit tearful earlier?” Le Vell said: “I wouldn’t say tearful.”
The barrister continued: “A bit shaky?” He said: “Yes. It’s a new experience for me.” Miss Laws said: “It has never been more important for you to be more persuasive than you have ever been today.”
The actor said: “I would not say persuasive. I am just here to tell the truth.” The barrister went on: “It has never been more important for people watching you to believe you, has it?”
He said: “I don’t know what you are trying to say.” Miss Laws compared his need to be persuasive to an acting job. Le Vell replied: “It’s nothing like an acting job. “You never get put in a position like this. They never teach you to be here and face what I have been faced with for the last two years. No one can teach you that.” His voice breaking, he added: “I’m fighting for my life.”
Le Vell admitted having affairs or one night stands during his marriage. Ms Laws asked about the infidelities, adding: “Remember you are on oath.”
Le Vell said one woman was more a confidante and there was “more to the relationship, more...” “Than just sex, yeh?” Ms Laws interrupted. Ms Laws continued: “Are you quite a weak man? You have your demons Mr Turner, when you have had a drink or two?” “No,” Le Vell replied.
Ms Laws added: “You are not your screen character or anything like it are you Mr Turner?” He replied: “I don’t pretend to be my screen character.” There was then the following exchange; Ms Laws: “Are you weak?”
Le Vell: “In certain aspects, yeh.” Ms Laws: “You have a drink problem?” “Yes,” Le Vell said. “And you have your demons?” Ms Laws said.
The defendant replied: “It depends what you mean, if you mean demon drink, yes.”