Friday 20 September 2019

Ex-JLS star Oritse Williams puts charity work on hold amid rape allegations

Oritse Williams strongly denies the allegations
Oritse Williams strongly denies the allegations

Former JLS star Oritse Williams has said he is stepping back from his charity work, following allegations that he sexually assaulted a fan in a hotel room after a gig.

The 30-year-old singer - who was arrested by police following the concert in Wolverhampton last week - denied the rape allegations in a statement at the weekend.

In a new statement today, he said he was concerned the press speculation would affect the charities he works with.

"It is with great sadness that I am announcing that I am stepping back from my charity work with immediate effect," he said.

"This work has always been a big motivation for me and is something close to my heart and this has not been an easy decision for me."

Williams said there had been a lot of speculation in the media about the alleged incident.

He continued: "I had taken a conscious decision to avoid talking to the press about the matter whilst the police are conducting their investigation as I do not think it appropriate to do so.

"Unfortunately, the press speculation is likely to be unhelpful to the charities I work with and the decision I have taken is with their best interests in mind."

Williams also asked that "everyone, not least the media, avoids any further speculation".

"It is unfair to everyone," he said.

"I would ask that the press respect the privacy of everyone involved and their families at this time, and allow the police to continue with their work without further distraction."

He referred to the previous statement from his management company 10 Worlds Music UK and added: "I will have nothing further to add while this is ongoing."

The statement released by 10 Worlds Music UK at the weekend said: "All we wish to say at this time is that Oritse denies the allegations against him.

"The matter is in the hands of the police and it would be totally wrong for us to comment any further."

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "West Midlands Police were called to a Wolverhampton hotel at 7.45am on Friday December 2 after an allegation of rape and sexual assault was made by a 20-year-old woman.

"A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of rape and a 29-year-old man arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. Both men have been bailed until February, pending further inquiries."

Williams has not been charged and was released on bail.

The singer enjoyed chart success with JLS after shooting to fame on the X Factor in 2008.

He has pursued a solo career since JLS disbanded in 2013.

PA Media

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