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ITV apology over Gloria Hunniford's Ched Evans comments on Loose Women

By Claire Williamson

Published 21/10/2016

Ched Evans
Ched Evans
Remarks: Gloria Hunniford

ITV have been forced to apologise over comments made by Gloria Hunniford about footballer Ched Evans on Loose Women.

The Portadown born broadcaster made her remarks on the programme after Mr Evans had been cleared in Cardiff Crown Court of raping a 19-year-old woman.

Although convicted of the offence in 2012, the verdict was quashed and he was cleared of the charges last week after a retrial. He has always maintained that he and another footballer had consensual sex with his accuser.

A statement on the footballer's website said Ms Hunniford's comments "marked a watershed in the media coverage following Ched's unanimous acquittal of rape at Cardiff Crown Court, after serving 30 months for a crime he always denied and has now been exonerated of."

"Ched has always acknowledged his behaviour was morally unacceptable - but consensual."

The statement added: "Gloria Hunniford on Loose Women yesterday misrepresented the evidence presented at Cardiff Crown Court in this respect, and his family are now actively considering their legal options. Opinion is acceptable - but misinformation broadcast on prime time television - is not."

On Wednesday presenter Ruth Langsford read out a statement apologising to the Evans family.

She said: "Following the programme, we received a complaint on behalf of Mr Evans regarding a comment made during the course of that item concerning the capacity of the individual to consent.

"We are happy to reiterate that Mr Evans was acquitted after a jury unanimously found him not guilty, having carefully considered the issue of consent."

Mr Evans' website welcomed the statement.

It said: "Today we are pleased that Loose Women apologised to Ched Evans in respect of a statement made by Gloria Hunniford earlier this week which was inaccurate. We are pleased that this episode is now finalised."

A spokeswoman for Gloria Hunniford said there was "absolutely no truth" in the allegation that she had threatened to resign over the incident.

They said: "There is absolutely no truth in this whatsoever. Gloria is back with us on the panel next week."

Campaigners reacted angrily after Mr Evans was cleared, with many voicing concerns that the case had set a dangerous precedent.

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