Le Vell talks about drink problem and one-night stands at trial
on 05/09/2013 17:54:06
He declined an invitation to sit as he was questioned and confirmed his real full name of Michael Robert Turner and his date of birth.
His barrister, Alisdair Williamson, told him he was going to start by asking about his personal background to "settle you down".
Born in Newton Heath, Manchester, he said he had four sisters - one who has since died - and one brother.
His mother died from a brain tumour when he was 15 and his father from lung cancer when he was 22.
He said he became involved in acting aged 12 after playing a part in a school production of 'Kes'.
It led to a successful audition at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre and from there he got his first agent.
He got his first role in 'Coronation Street' at the age of 15 and later the part of Kevin Webster.
In the early days of his career he also worked in a men's boutique and as a plasterer's labourer, he told the court.
During his 30 years playing the garage mechanic in the ITV1 soap, he said he had not previously been arrested and was, the court heard, a man of good character.
He would not work set hours on 'Coronation Street', his shifts would depend on the storylines.
Most nights of the week he would spend in his local pub in Hale, Cheshire.
Le Vell explained: "I have a working class mentality.
"I'm a bloke.
"After work I want to wind down for a hour or two.
"I know it sounds chauvinistic but that is how I was brought up."
Sometimes he could drink up to eight or nine pints on a night, he said.
Mr Williamson, who confessed to not being "a follower" of the soap, went on to ask about 'Coronation Street'.
Le Vell said a storyline in which he had an affair with a character called Molly Dobbs while his on-screen wife, Sally Webster, developed breast cancer was later mirrored in his own personal life.
Twelve months later, his wife Janette was struck by breast cancer and his own marriage was "crumbling".
It led to him threatening to walk away from the soap.
"I went up to my bosses at the time and I said if Kevin does not stick by Sally and her breast cancer, then I'm leaving the show," he said.
Mr Williamson said the jury had previously been told that his client had told his wife he had a secret which he could not be forgiven for.
He asked Le Vell to tell the jury what the secret was.
He replied: "I had several one-night stands throughout our marriage through different times.
"When you go home with that guilt and you have got to pretend you have done nothing wrong on a weekend away, it eats away at you a little bit.
"That was the little secret.
"One night stands.
"Were you being faithful at the time Janette had cancer?," Mr Williamson asked.
"No," he replied.
"I was seeing another lady."
Le Vell said there came a time when he sought help for his drink problem.
"I went to the AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) on two occasions," he said.
"Both lasted two weeks, each attempt.
"I think the last time was about three years ago... the other time was three years prior to that."