FORMER television presenter John Leslie has described himself as a “fool” after being told he will be cleared of a sexual assault allegation.
The ex-Blue Peter host, 50, was told at the end of last week that with forensic tests and other inquiries now complete, the matter was concluded and there would be no charges.
Mr Leslie said that intimate contact with a woman of 22 had been a mistake at his age.
He said: “People will say I’m a fool and they’re right. But I am an innocent man.”
The entertainer was suspended on full pay from his job at Radio Forth after allegations were made by a woman following the Radio Forth Awards Show in Edinburgh on 19 November last year.
He described the effects of the allegation as making the three months that followed among the worst in his life, and said he was angry that it had also had a profound effect on his elderly parents.
He said: “When I got off the phone on Thursday I went straight over to my parents’ house to share the good news. Both of them cried when I told them. It has been a terrible time for us all.”
Mr Leslie now intends to campaign for anonymity for men accused of sexual crimes at least until they are charged, and possibly even until they are convicted.
He said: “The fact that I was named instantly in the media, even though I was totally innocent and never charged with any offence, made my life a living hell 24 hours of every day. I lost my privacy, my dignity, my new job as a radio presenter.
“In effect, I even lost my liberty because I did not feel I could go about my business freely without attracting unwanted, and possibly hostile, attention. My very public humiliation was completely down to the fact I had been named by the press.”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in Edinburgh are continuing to investigate the circumstances following a report of a sexual assault of a 22-year-old woman, which took place between Thursday 19 November and Friday 20 November in Edinburgh.”