Le Vell: 'My legs went to jelly after child sex abuse accusations'
Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell told police "my legs went to jelly" after he was accused of child sex abuse.
Le Vell, 48, flatly denied any wrong doing when questioned by officers who arrested him, Manchester Crown Court heard.
The star, who plays car mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, will give evidence himself to the jury later today, on the fourth day of his trial, accused of 12 charges in all, which are five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
The alleged offences relate to one complainant and are said to have taken place between September 2002 and September 2010. He is alleged to have raped the girl while she clutched a teddy bear during one attack.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wept as she told the court Le Vell told her it was their "little secret".
Today detective constable Neil Rothwell told the jury about how Le Vell was arrested on suspicion of rape at his home in Hale, Cheshire, at 7.45am on September 30 2011.
"What was his response?" Eleanor Laws QC, prosecuting asked the officer.
"He did not make any reply," Mr Rothwell replied.
Le Vell was taken into custody and interviewed with his solicitor present and told by officers this was his "opportunity" to give his side of the story.
"There is no account and no story," Le Vell told the officer.
Mr Rothwell said he asked Le Vell if he was responsible for raping the girl.
"No, not at all," the actor replied.
Le Vell was then asked about being confronted by the girl's mother with the allegations.
"I don't know where these allegations have come from," Le Vell told the officer. "When she told me you could've just blew me over. My legs turned to jelly."
Le Vell continued: "I just said to the girl's mother, 'Please tell me you are f****** joking. Please, this has got to be a joke. I was in total shock."
Later in the police interview the officer said Le Vell said: "This is a life changing thing. It will cost me my job."
In his police interview, the actor confirmed he had no medical issues and was not aware of any memory problems.
When asked how much he drank, he replied: "Too much. I tried going to AA once or twice, it's not worked out for me."
Around the time of his arrest he said he was drinking five or six pints a night in his local pub.
He had cut down his pub drinking from seven to eight pints which he said he had done for the "best part of 30 years".
"These habits sort of creep in," he told the officer. "Having a crack with people, winding down, it's not a hanging offence."
The officer then put to Le Vell the specific allegations that he raped the girl on three occasions.
"No, it didn't happen," Le Vell replied. "Not one chance, never in a million years. No chance man."
Mr Rothwell asked the suspect: "Why would she say you have?"
Le Vell replied: "I have not got a clue. I have not got a clue why she's doing it. I honestly have not got a clue why she's making these allegations. I just can't fathom where it's come from. I could not do it.
"It's not in me at all."
Le Vell told police he denied saying he wanted to "get rid of the evil" as he allegedly raped the girl, or that he placed a teddy bear over her mouth.
"I did not rape her," he said, "and I certainly did not try to smother her."
He continued: "I don't know where she is getting this from. I don't know where she has got this imagination from.
"She is making it all up I'm afraid... that girl is seriously deluded, I'm sorry.
"I cannot believe the allegations...she is telling a pack of lies."
At the conclusion of the interview he was asked if he wanted to say anything.
He replied: "Apart from I'm shocked and stunned at the allegations... I'm absolutely mortified and deny everything that has been alleged I have done."
The prosecution closed its case just after 12.30pm.
Judge Michael Henshell adjourned proceedings until 2pm when the case for the defence begins and Le Vell will enter the witness box.