A man has been cleared of perverting the course of justice after publishing allegations he was sexually assaulted by Ken Clarke.
Actor Ben Fellows, 40, claimed the former Chancellor plied him with alcohol and sexually assaulted him in 1994 while he was 19 years old and working for ITV’s the Cook Report programme.
The Old Bailey heard Mr Fellows made the claims to journalists and published them on his blog in 2012, allegations Mr Clarke has since dismissed as “preposterous,” and similar to “Martians landing”.
Mr Fellows subsequently gave a statement to detectives working on Operation Fairbank, the criminal investigation into accusations of historical sexual abuse centred on senior political figures.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson said: “In that witness statement, the defendant said that in 1994, when he was 19 years old, he had been employed as an undercover actor by an investigative journalism programme on ITV, the Cook Report, during a sting operation against Ian Greer, the political lobbyist.
“The focus of that sting operation was a suggested role by Greer in arranging for politicians to ask questions in Parliament in return for money – or cash-for-questions as it was known at the time.
“The defendant said in a witness statement that whilst engaged in that capacity he had been sexually assaulted in Greer’s London office by Kenneth Clarke MP.”
However police investigating his claims determined they were without foundation and began treating him as a suspect rather than a victim.
Mr Fellows had also claimed he had been abused as a child by employees in the entertainment industry, including a female executive at the BBC.
But he was described in court as “an inventive and sometimes persuasive fantasist” and broadcaster Roger Cook said he did not remember Mr Fellows working on the Cook Report programme.
Representing himself, Mr Fellows maintained his allegation against Mr Clarke, insisting: “It was weird but not upsetting. To put this into context – this was no more than a minor grope you would get in a nightclub on a Saturday night.”
Mr Clarke insisted he had never in his life “had the compulsion” to grope another man, adding the claims were “off the Richter scale”.