John Leslie’s lawyer said his accuser targeted the former Blue Peter presenter because of his ‘sex pest’ reputation in court today.
At Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday, Gudrun Young said the accuser used Leslie’s “notorious” image of “Public Enemy No1” to acquire her own “#MeToo sex story”.
She then lied about their brief meeting because she wanted something to “gossip” about, the barrister claimed.
The alleged victim yesterday told a jury Leslie, 55, left her “shocked” when he grabbed both her breasts and laughed moments after she had introduced herself, shaken his hand and told him: “Nice to meet you.”
She said the TV star – who also presented This Morning – gave another “hearty laugh” then went to the bar for a drink without saying a word to her.
The woman did not report the attack for nine years until she said she heard a news report of another “sexual assault” allegation involving Leslie at a time when new victims of abuse were coming forward under the banner of the #MeToo movement.
She said she had not felt she would be believed or anyone would have been interested in her complaint at the time of the alleged incident in 2008.
But in cross examination Ms Young accused the woman of exploiting Leslie’s reputation to invent the attack.
She said at the time the TV presenter had not worked for five years since being wrongly named as the man Gladiators’ star Ulrika Jonsson claimed in her autobiography had raped her.
He had also faced a string of other sex allegations all of which he denied and had been dropped, his lawyer said.
Ms Young said when the woman saw Leslie in a bar in London’s West End she approached him because he was a “disgraced former celebrity – someone who’d had a spectacular fall from grace”.
“He was known for being some sort of sex pest,” his lawyer said.
“There was not a word of truth in it as far as he is concerned but that is what he was famous for at the time.
“He was Public Enemy No1.
“When you went up to Mr Leslie to introduce yourself the one thing that must have been on your mind were allegations of a sexual nature?
“You were curious to know what he was like so you could gossip about ‘I met sex pest John Leslie at the party’.”
The woman replied: “I disagree. I did not think that there were so many allegations against him.
“It certainly was not, ‘oh I must go an speak to John Leslie because I have heard he is a sex pest’.
“I cannot think why anybody would do that.”
Ms Young said the “brazen sexual assault” the woman had described at the hands of “the only person who was notorious” at the party was “bizarre”.
No-one else at the celebrity bash had witnessed it or tried to intervene, Ms Young alleged.
“This simply did not happen,” Ms Young said.
“He did not touch you as you described.”
The woman replied: “I completely disagree. It was so bizarre and shocking. That was why I was even more annoyed.
“I felt it had to be reported.”
Ms Young alleged when the woman did finally report the attack in 2017 she had been inspired by the #MeToo movement “in the wrong way” and made up her ordeal.
Re-examining the alleged victim, prosecutor Joselyn Ledward asked her: “Did you want a story to tell as part of being caught up in #MeToo?'”
The woman disagreed saying she wanted to maintain her privacy.
Before she agreed to make a statement about the attack she had sought assurances from the police she would not be identified.
Leslie denies sexual assault.