Former Blue Peter presenter John Leslie has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman in an alleged incident in Soho more than a decade ago, the Standard can reveal.
The 54-year-old Scot, a TV star since the late Eighties on shows including This Morning and Wheel of Fortune, was charged last month with one allegation of sexual assault.
It is said the attack was on a 30-year-old woman and happened in Greek Street in the heart of Soho on December 5, 2008.
The investigation was conducted by Scotland Yard’s Central West Command Unit, and Leslie was informed of the charge by post on June 5.
The former TV presenter is due to appear at Westminster magistrates’ court on July 25 to face the sexual assault charge for the first time.
Leslie, charged under his full name John Leslie Stott, got his big break in showbiz in 1989 when he became a presenter on BBC’s Blue Peter. He appeared on the children’s TV show with co-hosts including Caron Keating, Tim Vincent, Anthea Turner, and Diane-Louise Jordan for five years.
In 1999 he joined the presenting team of ITV’s breakfast magazine show This Morning, and was also a regular host of the Wheel of Fortune gameshow.
Leslie dated Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in the early Nineties, before her Hollywood breakthrough, and had a high-profile relationship with glamour model and reality star Abi Titmuss, now 43, which began when he was presenting This Morning.
Leslie withdrew from public life in the early 2000s when he left This Morning, but has returned to radio work in recent years in Scotland.
In a statement on the charge, the Met said Leslie “was charged by postal requisition on Wednesday, 5 June with sexual touching of a woman aged 16 or over, contrary to Section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
The allegation relates to an incident in Westminster in December 2008. The victim was aged 30 at the time. Detectives from the Met’s Central West Command Unit investigate.”
The charge alleges Leslie “intentionally touched a woman aged 16 or over, and the touching was sexual when she did not consent and you did not reasonably believe she was consenting”.
Leslie, of Edinburgh, is expected to appear at court on July 25 for a morning hearing. He is not on bail and has not yet entered a plea to the charge.
When contacted by the Standard, Leslie declined to comment on the case.