Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell is to take a break from the soap following revelations of cocaine use.
“I’ve always been dead against drugs and have turned them down in the past. I’ve seen what they can do to people. But I had never felt so low. I knew I was innocent but everything was closing in on me. And when someone offered them to me, I just agreed. The first time I ever did cocaine was in the lead up to my trial. There were some bad influences around me and it felt like an escape. Now I’m so ashamed of what I did.” – Le Vell quoted by the Sunday Mirror
Le Vell admitted to a Sunday tabloid last weekend that he had turned to the class A drug to help him cope with his recent court ordeal. The actor was cleared of 12 counts of child sex abuse by a jury at Manchester Crown Court in September.
“I never thought that I was the sort of bloke who would like cocaine. But it was moments of weakness when I was at the lowest ebb of my life.” – Le Vell quoted by The Sunday Mirror
The actor added that he continued using cocaine after being acquitted of the charges against him including five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
Le Vell was charged with the offences in February 2013 and Coronation Street storyliners immediately wrote his character Kevin Webster out of the soap by stating he was visiting his father Bill in Germany.
After being cleared of the charges, Le Vell returned to filming with Kevin due to reappear on the cobbles later this month.
Confirming reports that he will take a break from the show, a spokeswoman for Coronation Street told ATV Today:
“Coronation Street and Michael Le Vell have mutually agreed that he will take a break from the programme whilst he seeks professional help for personal issues.”