Louis Walsh sex assault claim dropped and man is arrested for making up story29/06/2011 00:48
A DANCER who claimed Louis Walsh groped him in a public toilet was yesterday arrested for making up the story.
Police quizzed wannabe Leonard Watters, 24 – who can be named and pictured for the first time – and a file will be sent to prosecutors after officers dropped their inquiry into his claim of being sexually assaulted.
X Factor judge Louis said he was “over the moon” and relieved after detectives told him on Monday that he was no longer under investigation.
And he vowed to sue the newspaper that first carried the claims. The 58-year-old said: “I have robustly maintained from the outset that this alleged incident did not occur.
“While I welcome confirmation from police that the matter has been dropped I remain outraged that this story ran in the first place in The Sun and I have instructed my libel lawyer to vigorously pursue legal action. I have no intention of letting this matter rest until I have received total vindication.
“This has been a hugely distressing time for me but I would like to thank all my friends and colleagues for their support. I am now looking forward to getting back to work.”
Friends said last night it will be business as usual today when Louis takes up his X Factor seat alongside fellow judges Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland in Wales.
Shane Filan, star of Westlife, the boyband Louis manages, said: “I spoke to him the day the story broke. He sounded heartbroken. I’ve never heard him so hurt and vulnerable.
“We were with him on the night this so-called incident happened and we knew he was innocent. That’s now be proven beyond doubt.”
Another pal added: “Getting that call saying the charges had been dropped was like a weight being lifted off his shoulders.
“But this is by no means the end. He will leave no stone unturned in his fight to clear his name 100%.”
Dad-of-two Watters was questioned by police after allegedly admitting making an incorrect statement. He was expected to be released without charge last night. But if prosecutors decide to pursue the matter he could still be taken to court and face up to five years in jail if found guilty.
Watters claimed Louis fondled him in the toilets of Dublin club Krystle on April 10 after a Westlife concert. The pop mogul was quizzed by police last Friday over the false claims. His accuser’s dad Peter had insisted at the time that his son “doesn’t tell lies”. But he said after Watters was arrested: “There is no comment. Maybe he has withdrawn his statements, I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to Leonard.”
Ballroom dance teacher Watters, from Navan, Co Meath, is known to police.
On June 18 last year, he was found guilty at Trim district court of breaching a barring order under criminal domestic violence laws and given 120 hours’ community service.
Last night neighbours spoke of his passion for dancing. One said: “He lives and breathes it and longs to be famous.” Watters writes on his website: “My mission is to bring ballroom out of the TV and into your life.”
On the night he claimed Louis attacked him, he allegedly bragged about how he was going to be a reality TV dance star and planned to audition for Strictly Come Dancing.