Paul O'Grady: Le Vell is celebrity 'witch hunt' victim
Paul O'Grady claims 'Coronation Street' actor Michael Le Vell was the victim of a celebrity "witch hunt" after he was wrongly accused of 12 charges relating to sexual abuse of a minor
Paul O'Grady claims Michael Le Vell was the victim of a celebrity "witch hunt".
The 58-year-old presenter has hit out at the "completely false" claims made against the 'Coronation Street' actor, who was found not guilty of 12 charges relating to sexual abuse of a minor earlier this month, and insists TV stars have become easy targets for unfounded allegations.
He is quoted by the Daily Mirror newspaper as saying: "It seems to be one rule for one and one rule for the other. If you're a sportsperson you can get away with murder.
"You can get as many prossies and snort as much coke as you like and get paid billions a week.
"It's forgiven and forgotten. But if you're a TV celebrity, that's it. It's almost a jealousy thing and people say, 'Let's nail him.'
"It's a case of build them up to bring them down. It's completely a witch hunt."
Paul insists Michael - who plays mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap - was an easy target and believes "villains" such as "bankers" and "politicians" should be hounded instead of TV stars.
He added: "He plays a popular character in a long-running soap so they went for the jugular. Why not go for the villains? Go for the bankers, the politicians, not someone who appears in a soap.
"It's shocking what they put him through and what they put his family through.
"That stigma, it's the worst stigma. Imagine being accused of that? It's dreadful, it's completely falsified. The more you read of that you think, 'My God, how did this ever get so far?' There was no evidence, it doesn't make sense. It's grossly unfair."