ACTOR Michael Le Vell yesterday told a jury he is “fighting for his life” after being accused of child sex allegations.
The Coronation Street star, 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.
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.”
During his first day giving evidence, he also admitted having affairs during his marriage and suffering from a drink problem.
Le Vell is accused of 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.
Under cross-examination from prosecuting barrister Eleanor Laws QC, her opening question was: “Nervous?”
He replied: “As anyone in this position would be.”
Ms Laws later said to the actor: “It has never been more important for you to be more persuasive than you have ever been today.”
To which Le Vell replied: “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.”
Ms 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.”
His voice breaking, he added: “I’m fighting for my life.”
The actor later admitted to the court to 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, yeah?” Ms Laws interrupted. She then continued (calling him by his real name): “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.”
Ms Laws went on: “Are you weak?” The actor replied: “In certain aspects, yeah.”
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.”
Le Vell revealed he had tried to get help from Alcoholics Anonymous and that at the time of his arrest he was drinking five or six pints a night in his local.
The actor agreed with Ms Laws that it was his case the alleged victim had told lie after lie. And it was his stance that those lies were maintained in front of the jury.
Ms Laws said: “Pretty good performance, don’t you think? If she is lying, very convincing, wasn’t it? Almost Oscar-winning?”
Le Vell replied: “I don’t know what you mean by Oscar performance.”
Ms Laws continued: “And the thing is that you just don’t know why [she is lying]?
The actor said: “No, I don’t.”
The court heard he told officers who arrested him: “I don’t know where these allegations have come from. When she told me, you could’ve just blew me over. My legs turned to jelly.”
Le Vell continued: “I just said to the girl’s mother, ‘Please tell me you are f****** joking’.”
The case continues.