Former television presenter John Leslie has told how his life was destroyed by sex claims against him and how he fears telling his three-year-old daughter about the allegations that wrecked his career.

Leslie, 47, whose past credits include Blue Peter, This Morning and Wheel of Fortune, was named on television as the alleged rapist of presenter Ulrika Jonsson.

He claimed the accusations led him to consider suicide.

Loading article content

Leslie, of Edinburgh, said: 'It was trying to stop a runaway train. It got to the point where the only way to stop it was contemplating suicide and for me – and I love life, I'm larger than life – to get to this point ... I thought, it has got to stop.

'I went home, I built the family up again. I'm here, not quite in the same place, but happy."

He was named on television, apparently accidently, after Jonsson wrote in her autobiography that she had been attacked. The identity of the man has never been revealed.

A further unfounded rape accusation was raised against him in 2008 but Leslie, who now presents a show on Edinburgh's Castle FM, was cleared "without a stain on his character".

Leslie, who spoke openly about his past in an interview with Lorraine Kelly, said he turned into a hermit and lost his confidence going out in public.

Leslie said he would have to tell his daughter, given internet-based stories about the allegations. "I'm not looking forward to telling her about it," he said.