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среда, 28 сентября 2016 г.

Ex-Corrie star Chris Quinten reveals horror of rape case ordeal

The hardest thing of all was telling Alison that I'd cheated
By Gemma Calvert
CLEARED Corrie star Chris Quinten sobbed last night as he told of his rape case shame and confessed: "I could smell the jail cell facing me.
"My whole life was on a cliff edge because of a moment of madness, of male ego, when I thought with my trousers not my brain."
Chris, 48, who played the Street's Brian Tilsley for 10 years, opened his heart exclusively to the News of the World after being acquitted by a jury of giving a 22-year-old student cocaine and raping her in a nightclub kitchen.
Talking of his ordeal for the first time he said: "I always knew her story was totally false—but that disgusting lie nearly tore apart me and my family.
"I wasn't imprisoned but the guilt and shame I feel after cheating on my beautiful girlfriend Alison is an equally tough punishment.
"Telling her and knowing that I had broken her heart was harder than being arrested for rape."
Chris, now a promotions manager, bitterly regrets cheating on Alison Slater, 30, while she was at home in Derbyshire with their 14-month-old daughter Sydney. He said: "When I was first accused I turned white and was physically sick. I thought I'd lose her, the baby, my job—everything."
"I tormented myself that I might have to serve six years behind bars, not seeing Sydney grow up, thinking I would miss the first precious years of her life. That killed me. It felt like I'd murdered someone."
Chris's year-long ordeal began when he met his accuser at her 21st birthday party at Stringfellow's in London where he works as a party host.
In his role as club promoter, he invited her to several functions over the next few months. He said: "I knew she liked me—a lot of contact, sitting on my lap, kissing on the cheeks, dancing together.
"And I was always paying her compliments, saying she was beautiful." On June 24 last year Chris hosted a bash at Ten Rooms club near Picadilly Circus. The girl, a part-time waitress at Spearmint Rhino lapdance club, was invited.
He recalled: "That night dancing we had got a little passionate. We were flirting and I suggested we go somewhere private. I led her to a kitchen off the main corridor.
"She was sipping champagne, I had a bottle of beer. Then we kissed. It was a slow, very gentle kiss. She agreed that I could attach a tablecloth to some pipes like a curtain so we could have more some privacy.
"I offered to give her oral sex but she said no. Then I began touching her intimately. She looked like she was enjoying it. She never gave me any indication she wanted me to stop.
"In fact, when I talked about having full sex she asked if I had a condom, which I did. I kept asking if she was all right. She said yes.
"We were together 45 minutes and she could have left at any time of her own free will."
Shame-faced Chris added: "I've never cheated on Alison before. That night with the girl was the first. At the time Alison and I were not happy but it's no excuse.
"One minute we were in the bar and the next we were having sex. I was plagued with guilt afterwards. It was horrendous."
But the next day Chris received a shock call from a worker at the club saying police had sealed it off and were looking for him in relation to a serious sexual assault. The girl had claimed he pinned her against a wall and forced her to have sex after giving her a line of cocaine and snorting one himself.
The star, who left Coronation Street in 1989, said: "I felt like I was about to be pushed off a cliff to die." Police tests found no traces of the drug in him. A quarter of an ecstasy tablet was found in the girl's system.
"It was unbelievable," said Chris, who was cautioned for possession of cocaine, ecstasy and skunk cannabis at a Manchester hotel in 2003.
"Everything that happened in that room was consensual. She never pushed me away, kicked me in the privates, scratched me or said no.
"And I never gave her cocaine. I might have been linked to drugs in the past but no longer. To this day I don't know why she did it but I can't help but think it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been on TV."
Shocked Chris realised he had to confess all to his girlfriend of eight years and drove home to break the news. He said: "It took me 15 minutes to get my words out. I was so ashamed.
"Then I started crying. Alison just put her arms around me, held me and said, ‘It's OK darling, don't worry, we'll get through it together.'"
Chris was arrested. His passport was confiscated and he was held in custody for seven hours. He had to report to police three times a week. Two months later he appeared in court for the first time, and only managed to get through the ordeal by pretending it was just another acting role.
"It was then reality hit and I was petrified. I immediately thought about prison because life becomes a 50:50 chance—jail or freedom.
"For three months I couldn't get out of bed, eat, sleep or go to the gym. My body and my mind closed down.
"But it never got so bad that I wanted to end my life. I'd never do that to Alison or Sydney. My little girl is the only pleasure I've had over the last year. She's kept me positive and strong."
Chris hid his ordeal from mum Sue, 72, who suffers from dementia. But he had messages of support from fans and former Coronation Street co-stars.
Then on Friday at 3.30pm, after deliberating for two hours and 10 minutes, the jury found him innocent.
Chris said: "I could smell the jail cell in front of me but when the verdict came through I punched the air. Until that point the future for me and my family had been on pause and I felt like I was sat on a ledge.
"I could have gone either way—fallen deeper into hell or up onto cloud nine.
"It was the worst year of my life but now I feel like I've been given another chance." And he warned other men: "Think twice because one night of lust is not worth a year of pain and a possible six years in jail.
"I still feel utterly ashamed for what I've done but it's time to move on.
"It took a year of hell to make me realise just what I've got and that Alison and Sydney mean more to me than anything."
Girlfriend Alison added: "I never doubted Chris but it didn't stop the fear that he'd been found guilty. The toughest part has been hearing how he was unfaithful to me in every little detail.
"I think Chris is stupid for getting himself in that position and I'm really angry for that.
"And as for the girl I feel sorry for her. She's a stupid little girl."

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