X-Factor judge Louis Walsh claims he still suffers panic attacks after he was wrongly accused of a sex assault four years ago.
The music mogul said the ordeal had had a “lasting affect” on him despite winning a €500,000 case against The Sun for falsely claiming he had groped a man while in a Dublin nightclub after a Westlife concert in 2011.
“I have panic attacks still about it a little bit. I was on my way to do the Alan Carr show when I heard the story and I was suicidal because people are going to think there’s no smoke without fire,” he said.
“That was the worst thing in my life… That guy was trying to trap me and he nearly succeeded. I’ll never forget it. I hate talking about it but I want you to know the real story.”
Unemployed dance teacher Leonard Watters was jailed for six months for making the false reports to Garda and issued a public apology to Louis.
The Mayo man told the RTE Guide that it had been the support from his elderly mother Maureen that helped him get through it.
He added: “My mother and family were cool about it. They actually didn’t care.”
“Simon Cowell rang me and he was the first person to say, ‘I know it’s not true’ and then he defended me in the press.
The former Westlife manager went on to claim that if he was still managing Boyzone they “would have been a lot more successful.”
“They wouldn’t be doing a Motown album,” he added.