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Zeta sends Leslie bottle of bubbly

Aug 4 2003

Catrin Pascoe, The Western Mail


CATHERINE ZETA JONES sent her former lover John Leslie a bottle of champagne after his acquittal on sex assault charges.

And it has emerged that his alleged sex victim is a Welsh actress.

The gift from Swansea- born Catherine and her husband Michael Douglas was delivered to the former This Morning host on Saturday two days after he was cleared last week of indecently assaulting a woman.

That woman, a 25-year-old from a small Welsh village, was in hiding with her mother yesterday and is said to be feeling suicidal, newspaper reports claim.

Leslie, a 38-year-old former Blue Peter presenter, was identified on a Channel Five chat show last October as TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson's alleged rapist, although she has never named him as her attacker.

Police investigations led to him being charged with two counts of indecently assaulting a woman who came forward. But those were dramatically dropped at London's Southwark Crown Court when police and the Crown Prosecution Service agreed there was no chance of a conviction and Leslie left an innocent man.

Yesterday a newspaper revealed it had collapsed because his alleged victim kept two past sex attacks secret. When detectives discovered this they realised Leslie's legal team would ensure the jury questioned why the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had only reported the TV presenter.

Miss X, as she was known in early proceedings, denied to police during early interviews that she had been a victim of any other sex attacks but later admitted her secret.

The CPS agreed she was not hiding the attacks to be malicious, reported the News of the World.

Quoting a police source, it said, "The entire case was based around this one witness and her evidence was vital."

The actress, believed to have had a small part in a British blockbuster, revealed she had been attacked by a photographer in 1997 when he was taking pictures at her flat. She also said she was the victim of an attempted rape in a west London wine bar after the date on which she claimed Leslie had attacked her.

Miss X alleged Leslie attacked her at his 3m home in East Sheen, West London, on May 26, 1997.

The 6ft-5ins star has said he considered suicide after he was accused of indecent assault and sacked from his 250,000 job presenting ITV's This Morning.


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