Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 5 September 2015

Nigel Evans: Coronation Street star is helping me cope with gay rape claims


Published 07/05/2013

Deputy speaker Nigel Evans
Deputy speaker Nigel Evans

Nigel Evans spoke yesterday of his "trauma" of facing allegations of rape and disclosed a former ITV Coronation Street star had helped him escape the "media circus" that followed his arrest.

The Commons Deputy Speaker repeated his vehement denial of the accusations by two men and insisted he would fight to clear his name.

Mr Evans was arrested on Saturday by police investigating claims he raped one man and sexually assaulted another between 2009 and March this year.

In his fullest comment since his release on bail, he said he was "shell-shocked" and "absolutely staggered" to find four detectives at the door of his home in Pendleton, Lancashire.

"They read me my rights and were incredibly pleasant and sympathetic. It felt surreal and indeed for the next several hours I was rather hoping I would wake up and be somewhere else, back in bed, perhaps," he said.

He and a group of friends spent the two nights after his release at the secluded home of former Coronation Street actress Vicky Entwistle in nearby Bolton-by-Bowland. She is a long-standing friend who helped the Conservative MP to make the decision to come out as gay three years ago.

"I am determined not to let these allegations destroy either me or my career. What doesn't destroy you makes you stronger," Mr Evans said.

He has made clear that he aims to remain as Deputy Speaker and the MP for Ribble Valley.

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