Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell denied he raped a young girl, telling a courtroom today: "I didn't get away with anything, I didn't abuse her."
The actor, who plays garage mechanic Kevin Webster in the soap, was accused by Eleanor Laws QC, prosecuting, of leading "a charmed life" who was "used to getting his own way."
The 48-year-old denied those accusations and when Miss Laws said "you thought you had got away with it", Le Vell replied:
– Michael Le Vell
I didn't get away with anything, I didn't do anything. I didn't abuse her.
ITV News Correspondent Damon Green reports:
The soap actor also said his "little dark secrets" were a string of one-night stands and not the sexual abuse of the girl.
Le Vell's private life has been laid bare throughout the trial as he admitted to being an alcoholic, having one-night stands and an affair - as his wife underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer.
The actor told the jury of a conversation he had with someone last year about "secrets" where he admitted to having "a few one-night stands."
He also agreed that he told the same person that what he had done was "something unforgivable."
But he denied saying that they would not believe "what things are inside my head."
- "You said that?", asked Miss Laws.
- "No," he replied.
- The barrister continued: "It would be a very odd thing to have said if you were talking about one-night stands."
- Le Vell replied: "It would not make sense."
- Miss Laws said: "I am going to suggest to you that what you were referring to was the abuse that was going on?"
- "No, not at all," he replied. "There was no abuse going on."
Le Vell is accused of 12 charges in all, which are 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. He denies all charges.
The actor was also pressed on his drinking habits, with Miss Laws asking how many pints he could have without appearing to be drunk.
The Coronation Street star said he can drink eight pints and still look sober.
Miss Laws then asked how many pints Le Vell needed to drink to become drunk, his response was: "About 12."
Le Vell said he would go out drinking every night because he was working class and "that was how I was brought up."
The alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims Le Vell repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped her - once while she was holding a teddy bear.
She wept as she told Manchester Crown Court Le Vell told her it was their "little secret".
The case was adjourned until 10am on Monday when closing speeches from both barristers will take place, the judge will sum up the trial and the jury is expected to retire to consider its verdicts.