Paul Gascoigne gives emotional interview after being cleared of sexual assault
23 October 2019, 15:56 | Updated: 23 October 2019, 16:16
Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne broke down in tears during his first TV interview since his recent sexual assault trial.
The footballer told Good Morning Britain he was "glad" his legal ordeal was "over with" whilst speaking in his first TV interview since being cleared of sexually abusing a woman he kissed on a train.
He said: "It's been a long year.
"I was on the train and a couple of women wanted some selfies, some photos with them. When I got up, someone next to us said, ‘Why do you want a photo with her? She’s fat and ugly?’
"So I went and sat next to her and said, ‘You are not fat and ugly, you are beautiful inside and out,’ I learnt that from treatment centres.
"I just thought I would give her a bit of confidence. I never thought anything of it. Until I went to the hotel and then got the call, we want to question you."
The former Newcastle, Rangers and Spurs player said he told police about giving the woman "a peck" and commenting on her "beautiful" looks straight away.
When asked about whether it was a wise decision to kiss a stranger on the lips, he said: "Of course not, I look back at it now. If that was the case, I would be in court for the last 30 years for people coming up and kissing me.
"So, I just never thought anything, I didn’t feel it at a sexual way, or I didn’t look at that way, you know? I sat with my lawyers and they told me what could happen."
Mr Gascoigne explained how he "happily" walked to the police car with the officers in order to give his statement down at the station which he "never changed" from what he said in the courtroom.
Asked if he was scared, he replied: "Not at first, I think I was more scared when I sat with my lawyers. When I sat with them and they told me. Obviously, I did get a bit worried, you know?
"I could have easily took the easy way out and took to drinking and not bothered about it. I stayed strong through it, you know?"
Mr Gascoigne said his new manager Katie has been fantastic during the ordeal and he had spoken with counsellors to keep himself busy.
He then held back tears, saying: "Then it gets hard when you walk around the streets and you have people saying we’re on your side, you know, the more people were on my side.
"I think I spent the whole year telling people I did nothing wrong, sorry,” he said, apologising for crying in the studio.
The troubled star spoke about whether being sober for the past six months was a "test."
"It was definitely, even two days ago I felt like I wanted a drink and I just rang my sponsor ... and told him how I felt.
"A lot of people with this would go out and celebrate and I didn’t feel I had anything to celebrate because it has been a tough year. I would say the rest of my life depended on this."
Mr Gascoigne could have landed himself on the sex offenders register if he had been found guilty in court, which he said would have been "horrendous."
"I just stay strong and hope the weather picks up and I can do some fly fishing," he concluded.