Former JLS star Oritsé Williams has spoken out for the first time about being "tormented" by a rape accusation for the past three years.
The 32-year-old was accused of raping a fan in 2016 after a show in Wolverhampton, and was charged with the offence in September 2018.
The singer was unanimously cleared of rape in May of this year by a jury in Wolverhampton Crown Court after two hours and 17 minutes of deliberation.
The star spoke about his ordeal on Good Morning Britain today, revealing that he couldn't find work for the last three years;
"It's been horrific," digressed Oritsé. "I haven't been able to work for three years. I had this accusation hanging over my head every single day from when I woke up to when I went to sleep. It's just completely tormented me.
But I had two choices, let it drag me under and destroy me or stay strong and hope the truth would come out, which it eventually did," he continued.
"The worst moment has been the effect it's had on my family. I tried to protect my mother for the whole thing. When you’re in the public eye you can’t stop it."
He added; "My family as so loving. I've had so much unconditional love and support from them all and my friends.
"Even now public and my fans have been amazing. Come out and openly supported me. It has been trial by social media."
Oritsé spoke about the sympathy he has for those who call for anonymity in rape trials, telling the GMB hosts;
"I absolutely would have wanted my name to get cleared as quickly a possible and move forward with my life with my family. We have to continue to encourage real victims to come forward. There has to be consideration on both sides."
Oritsé has been working on his song-writing while hiding from the spotlight over the last three years;
"I’ve had a lot of time on my hands over the last few years. I've been reconnecting as a song writer and immersing myself in my music. I believe I've written some of the best songs of my life in this period.
"I’ve poured my heart out into these songs, bled all over them. At some point when the time is right I want to share them with people."
Oritsé’s £3 million mansion burned down in a suspected arson attack only days after his acquittal.
He had handed over the house to his ex-girlfriend after their break-up, but was still devastated by the arson attack;
"I had so many amazing memories there with my family and friends. Seeing what happened to somewhere I once loved was devastating. There’s an ongoing police investigation so hopefully we will get some answers."
Oritsé’s bandmate Marvin Humes said his friend is “getting his confidence back” after his acquittal, and the three-year ordeal ended in the “right result".
He told The Sunday Mirror: “He is working on himself at the minute and getting his confidence back. I have no doubt that whatever he goes into next, he will do great.
“He’s doing really well considering he has moved on from a terrible three years, a horrible three years, and he has come out the other side with the right result. He is getting on with his life and moving forward," Marvin added.
“One thing about us boys, everyone knows how close we are and we give each other support in any situation. We are like family.”
Feature image: ITV