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Sunday 15th December 2019

Oritse Williams wanted anonymity in rape case instead of 'trial by social media'

The musician was cleared in May

Former JLS star Oritse Williams has said he wished he could have remained anonymous throughout the rape case.

Earlier this summer the singer was found not guilty of raping a 20-year-old woman in a hotel in Wolverhampton in December 2016.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain today, 32-year-old Oritse called the ordeal "horrific".

Oritse said he hadn't worked in three years (Credit: ITV)

The 20-year-old woman remains anonymous, and Oritse believes he should have also had his identity protected throughout the proceedings.

He said: "Of course I sympathise with those calling for anonymity because it has affected my life and my own experiences.

"I haven’t been able to do anything for the past three years, but I do understand the police are under resourced and under financed and they’re just trying to do their job.

Read more: Former JLS star Oritse Williams cleared over hotel rape charge

"But for me, I would have loved for it to be over or for me to be able to clear my name as quickly as possible so I could move forward with my life."

When asked if he’d have preferred being anonymous, Oritse replied: "I absolutely would have. I absolutely would have wanted my name cleared as quickly as possible, and for me to be able to move forward with my life and my family.

The singer is now hoping to return to working on music (Credit: ITV)

"But at the same time we also have to encourage victims to come forward and we can’t forget about that as well. So there has to be consideration on both sides."

Oritse said he hasn't been able to work for three years, adding: "I had this accusation hanging over my head every single day, every time I wake up in the morning to every time I go to sleep at night."

I had this accusation hanging over my head every single day, every time I wake up in the morning to every time I go to sleep at night.

He went on: "It’s just completely tormented me. But I had two choices, either I could let it drag me under and completely destroy me or I could stay strong and hope the truth would eventually come out, and ultimately it did."

Oritise was cleared in May of this year (Credit: ITV)

The musician said the most devastating part is the effect it's had on his mum and family, who never stopped supporting him.

Read more: Giovanni Pernice "absolutely terrified" after mugging attack

"My family are so loving and I’ve had so much unconditional love and support from them all, and my friends, even members of the public. The fans have been absolutely amazing, they have come out and they’ve all openly supported me as well on social media. But it has been trial by social media."

The JLS star now hopes he can restart his music career after writing what he calls "some of the best songs of my life".

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