Wales

Ched Evans welcomes Loose Women comments 'apology'

Ched Evans outside the Court of Appeal Image copyright PA

Ched Evans has welcomed the response by ITV's Loose Women to a complaint about its discussion of his rape acquittal.

The Chesterfield striker's family said they were considering legal action following the lunchtime show on Monday.

Presenter Ruth Langsford told viewers the programme was "happy to reiterate" he was unanimously cleared after a retrial.

The footballer's website called it an "apology" and declared the matter closed.

In 2012, Mr Evans was found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in Rhuddlan, Denbighshire, the previous year. He served half of a five-year prison term.

But that conviction was quashed on appeal last April and on Friday he was found not guilty of the same charge at Cardiff Crown Court.

The player's website reacted to Monday's Loose Women discussion with a statement saying he had served "30 months for a crime he always denied and has now been exonerated of".

Image copyright PA

It added he had "always acknowledged his behaviour was morally unacceptable but consensual".

It said "opinion is acceptable" but criticised comments on the programme by broadcaster Gloria Hunniford.

A spokesman for Loose Women confirmed on Monday the programme was responding to a complaint from the father of Mr Evans' partner.

During Thursday's show, Ms Langsford said: "On Monday, we broadcast an item relating to the recent case involving the footballer Ched Evans.

"Now following the programme we received a complaint on behalf of Mr Evans regarding a comment made during the course of that item concerning the capacity of the individual to consent.

"Now we are happy to reiterate that Mr Evans was acquitted after a jury unanimously found him not guilty, having carefully considered the issue of consent. So, we just wanted to say that today."

Mr Evans' website followed that with a statement which said: "Today we are pleased that Loose Women apologised to Ched Evans in respect of a statement made by Gloria Hunniford earlier this week which was inaccurate.

"We are pleased that this episode is now finalised."

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