'Big Brother ruined my life'

Last updated at 17:49 28 October 2005

The former Big Brother contestant who has told police she was raped in a hotel room by a man following a date was tonight revealed to be Lesley Sanderson.

The 20-year-old, who took part in this year's competition, said the reality show had ruined her life, with the alleged rape the last in a series of "nasty events" she has had to endure since she appeared in the programme over the summer.

Producers had deliberately portrayed her as a wicked witch leading to the abuse, she told the paper, saying that before the rape she had been glassed and kicked in clubs, verbally abused and constantly hassled by men.

The alleged rape reportedly happened last month when she was attacked by a man in his 20s at The Golden Lion Hotel, in Leeds city centre. Lesley, from Huddersfield, had waived her right to anonymity to talk to the Sun newspaper about the alleged attack in a Leeds hotel. But she was not being paid for the interview, the Sun said.

She told them: "I can honestly say Big Brother ruined my life. I wish I had never done it. People ask me how they can get on the show and what advice I can give them. I give them one piece of advice - don't do it."

The reality television star said she met the alleged rapist at a hotel in Luton where she was staying with a female friend before heading to London for a magazine shoot the next day.

Her alleged attacker, a stocky manual worker, approached the pair with a friend and offered them some drinks. Lesley said he claimed he did not recognise her and asked if she was famous when she said she was on her way to a fashion shoot the following day.

"I told him I was on Big Brother and he acted surprised but I got the feeling he was pretending. I'm sure he knew exactly who I was," she said.

The 'perfect gentleman'

Lesley and the man kissed at the end of the night and swapped phone numbers, before meeting again a week later after she appeared at a Huddersfield nightclub. She said she thought he was a "perfect gentleman" after walking her home and kissing her before saying goodnight.

The pair swapped affectionate text messages over the next few days and met up again when Lesley went to stay at the Golden Lion Hotel after a bust-up with her mother.

The alleged rapist arrived with some beer and vodka and watched television while she chatted on the phone to family and friends. The attack reportedly happened later that night.

Lesley, who entered the Big Brother house wearing a PVC nurse's outfit, was the second contestant to be voted off the sixth series after just fifteen days in the house.

She now blames the reality show for all the trouble she has encountered, saying: "They made me out to be a wicked witch on the programme and edited it unfairly so I looked really bad." She is now trying to get her life back together and has seen a police counsellor, she added.

A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said earlier today: "A man in his 20s has been arrested in relation to an allegation of sexual assault against a woman in her 20s.

"The alleged incident occurred at a hotel in the centre of Leeds on September 28. He was freed on police bail pending further inquiries."

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