Louis Walsh: Tearful star speaks out against ‘malicious’ sex assault claims25/06/2011 00:32
X FACTOR judge Louis Walsh last night described “malicious” allegations of sexual assault against him as “the worst episode of my life”.
The tearful star spoke out over claims he groped a male fan – and has been comforted by a raft of celebrities, including Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Sir Elton John.
As reports emerged that the man making the allegations was “on a mission” to become famous, distraught Louis, 58, later returned home to Dublin from London, determined to clear his name.
We can also reveal Louis’ account of the night in question is reportedly backed up by boy band Westlife, who were with him at the time.
The popular judge spent nearly two hours on the phone to his X Factor boss Cowell yesterday – who reassured him that his job and reputation were secure.
He said he backed Louis “100 per cent” over his innocence of the claims. Cowell added: “I don’t believe for a second these allegations are true.”
Speaking from his room at the five-star Kensington hotel, Louis said: “I’m devastated by the completely unfounded and malicious allegations. Anyone who knows me knows this is all a pack of lies. It’s hurtful someone can do this and think they can get away with it.
“This guy is a complete chancer and talking a load of utter rubbish, just trying to make a quick buck for himself, I guess. I don’t even know who this guy is, just that he’s a sick, nasty person trying to destroy my good name.
“It’s disgraceful but what he doesn’t realise is the potentially devastating effect this has on my family. It’s not fair on them, it’s really not.
“They’re going through hell, just as my friends are. It simply isn’t fair and I don’t know why he is doing this to me, I really don’t.
“When I found out, I was stunned and it really was the worst night of my life. I haven’t slept at all. But I’m keeping my head up and staying proud – I have done absolutely nothing wrong and this will become clear.
“If there is a positive to emerge from this mess it’s the overwhelming support I’ve had from friends, family, the general public and those in the public eye.
“It really has been incredible and I feel genuinely touched and overwhelmed. I’d also like to thank everyone for their support and kind words – it means a lot. Simon has been in touch and has been amazing.
“It’s at times like these you need good friends and you truly realise who your friends are.”
As well as Cowell, X Factor colleagues Dermot O’Leary, Tulisa Contostavlos and former co-judge Cheryl have all called him pledging their backing. Michael McIntyre, Sharon Osbourne, Sir Philip Green and Kay Burley have also all been in touch, along with Sir Elton and partner David Furnish.
A source close to Louis added: “Everyone in the industry knows Louis and knows what kind of man he is. He will have done absolutely nothing wrong. Not one person has even had to ask, ‘did you do it?’ because we all know the whole thing is utterly ludicrous.
“It’s a testament to Louis’ popularity that the world of showbiz has come out to back him, and even people on Twitter seem to realise it’s a nothing, made-up story.
“The police haven’t even contacted Louis formally yet, which is pretty telling in itself.
“Hopefully all of this will wash over soon and Louis can get on with his life.”
The star was accused on Thursday of molesting a 24-year-old man in the toilets of a Dublin nightspot after a Westlife concert.
He alleges Louis grabbed his crotch as the pair were chatting in the early hours of April 10 at the city’s Krystle nightclub.
Police are said to be studying CCTV footage of the night in question to see if it sheds any light on the allegations.
Fighting back tears, shell-shocked Louis also revealed he was adamant he would do everything necessary to restore his reputation.
He added: “I’m going to fight every step of the way to clear my name. I did absolutely nothing that night and there is no foundation to these allegations at all.
“I have lawyers, witnesses and everything in place to fight this. I will 100% clear my name over this. I want to set the record straight and stand up to this. I won’t allow my name to be blackened like this.”
Louis also revealed: “Westlife were there – Shane Filan sat with me the entire evening and we had a great night. He witnessed how I behaved, the whole band did, and there was nothing untoward at all. We just had a great night after their concert and we were together for the evening. We were just relaxing and having fun.
“It’s just really upsetting to be honest. I’m only human and it’s lies, lies, lies. That’s the truth.”
It is understood the individual who made the allegations had told members of Westlife he was “on a mission” to become a celebrity.
A source close to the band revealed: “This guy actually started telling certain members of the band that evening that he wanted to do a big reality TV show and was being lined up for some.
“The impression they all got was that he was desperate for fame and recognition.
“He seemed really captivated by the whole showbiz scene and wanted to be a star himself.”