Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell: I'm fighting for my life
Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell choked back tears to tell a jury he is "fighting for his life" as he denied a string of child sex allegations.
The soap actor's private life was laid bare in court as he admitted being an alcoholic, having a string of one night stands and an affair – as his wife underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer.
And the court heard Le Vell (48) was a man with "demons", whose victim was either telling the truth or had given an "Oscar winning" performance in court.
The actor spoke in a trembling voice to tell the hushed courtroom of his "shock and devastation" at being accused of raping and sexually abusing the youngster.
On the fourth day of his trial, Le Vell stood in the witness box for two hours defending himself against 12 charges of child sex abuse. The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims Le Vell repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped her, once while she was clutching a teddy bear.
Under cross-examination by Eleanor Laws QC, prosecuting, he denied suggestions he laughed or sneered as the victim's mother gave evidence.
But Ms Laws tore into the character of the actor over his past behaviour in a series of terse courtroom exchanges, claiming the defendant is nothing like his on-screen part of Kevin Webster known to millions of viewers.
"Nervous?" she asked in her opening question.
Le Vell, who is charged under his real name of Michael Turner, replied: "As anyone in this position would be."
Ms Laws compared his need to be persuasive to an acting job.
Le Vell replied: "It's nothing like an acting job."
His voice breaking, he added: "I'm fighting for my life."
He also said: "I'm devastated, I'm lost. I don't understand where it's come from."
Le Vell denies 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.