Footballer Titus Bramble was cleared today of sexually assaulting two women.
The Sunderland defender was found not guilty by a jury at Teesside Crown Court following a four-day trial.
Bramble (aged 30) was accused of groping a woman in a nightclub in Yarm, Teesside, before sexually assaulting another in a taxi home.
Bramble told jurors that one of the complainants was “touchy feelie and flirty” and kissed him “passionately” as they shared a taxi from the Cross Keys nightclub.
The Sunderland defender said she kissed him and put her hand on his crotch during the journey.
He said: “We were kissing. We kissed a couple of times passionately.
“She was touching me and putting my hand on her leg.”
But the complainant claimed he twice grabbed her hand and put it on his crotch and placed his hand between her legs, which made her “scared”.
The taxi driver believed something was wrong and drove the pair to a police station where Bramble was arrested, the jurors were told.
Bramble’s defence lawyer Ronnie Jaffa said the woman made the allegation to “save face” after she regretted kissing him.
The other woman, who was in the Cross Keys, said she felt someone grope her bottom and turned to see Bramble.
Bramble, of Wynyard near Middlesbrough, always denied it was him.
She reported the incident after the other woman claimed she was assaulted in a taxi by the Sunderland star, which they caught in Yarm on the same night - September 28 last year.
The footballer, who has played for Ipswich, Newcastle and Wigan Athletic, consistently denied all charges.