'It nearly finished me just mentally and physically' - Louis Walsh on impact of false sex assault accusation
Louis Walsh has opened up about being falsely accused of sexual assault, saying the experience "nearly finished" him.
The pop guru (65) was wrongly accused by Leonard Watters in a 2011 tabloid newspaper article.
Watters was jailed for six months for the false claims.
The Ireland's Got Talent judge (right) told how the experience had made him far more wary.
"I haven't been to a nightclub since," he said. "I don't go out much at night because you just don't know what lunatic is going to pick you and you can't tell the loonies any more.
"If someone comes up to do a picture with me, I do it, but I have to be so wary because they can say anything, that's the problem.
"There's a lot of crazy people out there and you can't tell them apart any more, because they don't look crazy. They look like ordinary people, but they're out to get something out of somebody."
Speaking on Mario's Sunday Roast on Today FM, Walsh said the experience was difficult to deal with.
"It was totally wrong. It nearly finished me, just mentally and physically. People say there's no smoke without fire: there was no smoke and there was no fire. It was all lies."
The Mayo man reckons the world has become more politically correct in recent years and as a result, he is hesitant to join Twitter or any other social media platform, for fear he would get in trouble for expressing his opinion.
"I'm not on anything. I'm too much of a loose cannon. I would say things I shouldn't say. I would be very popular but I would probably be sued.
"I would say what I really thought about people and people don't like that any more. They don't like honesty," Louis said.
An old video of the talent show judge recently emerged from The X Factor in which he is sitting with Simon Cowell and Mel C and can be seen patting her bottom.
The former judge brushed off the incident and said it was a joke.
"That was me sitting with her. We had been sitting there all day on the couch doing different TV and I just grabbed her a**e as a joke.
"She's very funny and you can say or do anything to her. I just grabbed her for a laugh. I know it's not PC any more," he said.
"Somebody took it out in the last few weeks. Who cares?"
It was announced earlier this year Walsh would be leaving The X Factor after 13 series as a judge and he is now enjoying his first summer off, with plans to write his memoirs.