Oritse was found not guilty back in May

Former JLS star Oritse Williams has spoken out for the first time since he was acquitted of rape after being accused back in 2016.

Oritse Williams

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The 32-year-old X-Factor star was cleared in May 2019 of raping a 20-year-old woman after three years of ‘horrific’ accusations.

Now, the pop star has opened up about how the ordeal has impacted his life in an emotional interview.

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today, he said: ‘It’s been horrific. I haven’t been able to work for three years. I had this accusation just hanging over my head every single day.

‘But I had two choices; either I could let it drag me under and completely destroy me, or I could stay strong and hope that the truth would eventually come out, which ultimately it did.’

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Revealing that the worst part of the situation has been the impact it has had on his family, he went on to praise those close to him for the help and encouragement they have provided over the turbulent time, adding: ‘My family are so loving and I’ve had so much unconditional support from them all, and my friends.’

Following the completion of the trial, Oritse’s JLS band mate Marvin Humes’ wife Rochelle took to social media to announce the not guilty verdict in an emotional post, penning: ‘This here is our brother, one of the kindest, most gentle, thoughtful men I know. Today he was cleared NOT guilty after 3 years of absolute hell.

MORE: Rochelle Humes’ sister looks unbelievably similar to her in THIS stunning family pic

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‘I’m so proud of how you have conducted yourself throughout this time, I really don’t think I could have held myself in the same way. Reesh we love you so much and I’m writing this crying so many happy tears, it’s over ❤️.’

Continuing, Oritse insisted that despite what he went through with the false accusations, he hopes that rape victims have the confidence to speak out, saying: ‘We also have to continue to encourage real victims to come forward, and we can’t forget about that.’

The musician also confessed that amid the drama, he has managed to reconnect with his love of song writing: ‘I believe I’ve written some of the best songs of my life in these past three years.’