Soap actor cleared of rape made 'bad choices'

Former 'Emmerdale' actor Ben Freeman today said he now plans to return to work, after being cleared of raping a 16-year-old British girl in Barbados.

Freeman, who played mechanic Scott Windsor in the soap, said that while he had not done anything illegal, he had made “bad choices”.

The actor, who has had a tough time financially while clearing his name, wants to go back to work – and said he would consider talks with 'Emmerdale' bosses if he were approached.

Freeman denied raping the girl after they met at an exclusive holiday resort on the Caribbean island on November 29, 2006.

The 28-year-old actor said he knew the girl, who is from Cheshire, was 16 at the time but said she never resisted his advances as he denied the charge at the High Court in Bridgetown, Barbados.

The jury took 90 minutes to reach a unanimous not guilty verdict last week.

In an interview with ITV’s 'This Morning', Freeman said he was “glad” it was all over.

He said he was not angry at the girl and was not looking for “retribution”.

Freeman continued: “I do have to say that I made a lot of bad choices that I put myself in a position where someone can say that about me.

“The important point is that I didn’t do anything illegal but it was silly.”

Freeman was accused of raping the girl on a poolside sunlounger while they were staying with their families at the same hotel in Barbados two years ago.

During the trial, he broke down in tears as he told the court she never resisted his advances, according to local newspaper reports.

Freeman said the public reaction had been “fantastic” adding: “I’ve not had an awful lot of bad feeling.”

He said people had approached him to wish him well.

Freeman said: “I just wanted to thank everybody really for being so fantastic. Everyone at work, at 'Emmerdale' has been absolutely brilliant.”

He said the last couple of years had been “hard financially”.

Freeman added: “My mission for the last two years has been to clear my name... now that’s over... I would obviously like to get back to work, whatever work that is.

“I’ve not really spoken to anyone at 'Emmerdale' and I don’t know whether they even would consider taking me back but I would think about it if they wanted to have a talk, so we’ll see.”

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