John Leslie 'in bits' after being cleared of sexual assault

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John LeslieImage source, PA
Image caption,
Leslie said his focus was now on "survival and living a quiet life"

Former television presenter John Leslie has admitted to being "in bits" after being cleared of sexual assault.

"It's a case of putting the bits back together again," the 53-year-old said on his return to ITV's This Morning, the show he co-hosted for three years.

"Hopefully I can come through this in one piece."

Leslie was accused of putting his hand down the back of a woman's trousers while the pair were dancing in an Edinburgh nightclub in June 2017.

He denied the allegation and after a two-day trial in Edinburgh last month the case against him was found not proven.

"It should never have gone to court," the former Blue Peter presenter told This Morning's Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

He said his behaviour on the night in question had been "entirely appropriate" and that his reputation had made him "a target".

The Scottish TV star was previously charged with sexual assault in 2003. Those charges were subsequently dropped.

Leslie said his life had been "ruined" as a result of allegations that had been shown to be false.

"False allegations are becoming too prevalent now," he said. "The pendulum's swung far too much in the way of the accuser."

He said it was "outrageous" that the police had charged him without viewing CCTV footage of the alleged incident.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, he said he would be making a formal complaint and was considering a civil action.

Police Scotland told paper that "all complaints will be assessed and investigated as appropriate".

Leslie said it had been "quite emotional" being back on the This Morning sofa but that he now intended to live "a quiet life".

"I think my time on TV is done," he told Schofield, who joined the ITV programme following his dismissal in 2002.

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