ANTHEA Turner has revealed her “unbelievable relief” as her “amazing” friend John Leslie is cleared of sexual assault.
Turner said she "could not be happier" after a jury found “gentle giant” Leslie not guilty of groping a woman’s breasts at a party in 2008.
Sharing a picture of herselfbeaming with Leslie and fellow ex-Blue Peter presenter Diane-Louise Jordan, she wrote on Instagram: “John Leslie has again been given the verdict not guilty.
“The shot was taken last week after Diane and I joined him and his dad at Southwark Court.
Unbelievable relief for our amazing gentle giant of a friend but personal anger that he has had his life ripped apart over the years.
“Unbelievable relief for our amazing gentle giant of a friend but personal anger that he has had his life ripped apart over the years.
“However justice has today prevailed and we couldn’t be happier.”
Earlier today the 6'5'' former star collapsed in his seat as he was cleared of the sex assault allegation.
The presenter had insisted on his innocence, previously telling Southwark Crown Court: "I never sexually assaulted anyone. It's not in my nature."
Leslie, who appeared under his birth name of John Stott, said the accusations were "ludicrous and crazy" – adding he had been made suicidal after the loss of his TV career and reports about him in the media.
And today Leslie cried and nodded towards the jury as the verdict was delivered after 23 minutes of deliberations.
Judge Deborah Taylor said: "Mr Stott, you for the second time leave this court without a stain on your character and I hope it will be the last time you have to attend."
Leslie's father Les Stott, who has attended court every day with his son for the past week, punched the air before hugging him after he left the dock.
The presenter made no comment as he left court alongside his father and his barrister Gudrun Young.
Fellow Blue Peter hosts Turner,Jordan and Yvette Fielding, as well as his This Morning co-host Fern Britton all gave evidence defending their former colleague's character.
Turner had told the court: "I am a woman, and he was always respectful, incredibly respectful with me and the team at Blue Peter, a largely female team.
"Everyone absolutely loved him.
"If there had been any stories I would have known and there were none."
The complainant had alleged Leslie grabbed her breasts and laughed immediately after they shook hands at the party 12 years ago.
She claimed he then walked away without saying anything – telling the jury how she was left feeling shocked.
The woman had claimed he recognised the presenter's face, telling him "nice to meet you".
She told the court: "He shook my hand and he was smiling, and immediately he grabbed both of breasts, one on each hand."
The Scot was one of the most popular personalities on daytime television, presenting on Blue Peter from 1989 to 1994.
The court heard how Leslie – who had also hosted This Morning – had a "spectacular fall from grace".
By 2008 he was known as a "disgraced former celebrity" after a series of "scurrilous allegations" against him, jurors heard.
Leslie, from Edinburgh, denied and was cleared of one charge of sexual assault.
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