Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How well did you know Eleanor de Freitas before she made the allegation? 

I was friends with her cousin for five years and we shared some of the same friends. We became friends about two months before going on our date. By that point had exchanged over 500 messages on Facebook. 

2. Did you ever know that she was mentally unwell?

The first time I knew that she had mental health problems was at the end of our date when she told me her 'depression story'. It was one of the many reasons why I rejected her and wanted to distance myself from her because I thought she was trouble. To suggest that I was taking advantage of a "vulnerable woman" is totally false. I was avoiding her once I found out. I have no interest in dating mental unstable people.

3. What was her motive for making the rape allegation against you?

The day after our date I told her I never wanted to see her again. It was a weird scenario. I had just found out she was a prostitute six hours after our date ended. I was in a state of shock, hence the sudden rejection. But I didn't tell her that I knew this. So she was probably confused as to why I rejected her. Up to that point we had been flirting for two months and had a lovely evening together. She was very upset. Her parents and her friends saw her upset... and then the lies began.  She began to say I abused her. Her mother called me to ask 'what happened' and ten days later this snowballed into a rape allegation. I think it was partly for revenge, partly to save face and partly to maintain the  initial allegations of general "abuse" (which she posted on Facebook) which gradually turned into bigger and bigger lies.

4. Were you ever charged with rape?

No I wasn't. There was not one speck of dust of evidence against me. She was the one charged with Perverting the Course of Justice for making false rape complaint. There was a mountain of evidence against her. However three years after the original rape complaint I was charged with alleged 'harassment' of her father David de Freitas (after he made unfounded complaints to the police). I was found not guilty in that trial.

5. Why did you sue David de Freitas?

David de Freitas first went to the press on 6th November 2014. The very same day I warned him about him making further defamatory statements. He ignored the warning. The next day on 7th November he appeared on BBC News and Radio 4 continuing to assert that I was a rapist. I contacted his lawyers warning them that he should stop the defamatory press campaign or I would have to sue for libel.

Ten days later I contacted his lawyers again asking him to stop but he continued going to the national press making more defamatory statements on 9th December. It was after five weeks of publish rubbishing that I engaged lawyers to start proceedings. Even in August 2015 his lawyers said he would continue going to the press and would repeat his statements at any time. I tried to settle the case for £1 in damages in March 2016 but this was ignored. Should I have allowed him to call me a rapist for ever? Of course not.

6. You lost your libel case against him, what does that mean?

Normally a libel case would be defended on truth. In other words the person defending would try to prove everything they said was true and therefore not defamatory. This was not the case. Mr de Freitas accepted everything he said about me was not true but defended it on a technical defence called 'the public interest defence' (Section 4 of the Defamation Act 2013). This is usually reserved for journalists who make an innocent mistake and gives them immunity if they can show responsible journalism to preserve their free speech rights. 

In my case the court found that David de Freitas had defamed me in 5 out of the 7 publications and accepted he caused serious harm to my reputation. But is said Davi de Freitas free speech rights were more important than my reputation, despite acknowledging I was wrongly accused. It is such a grey area of law that the judge can move the goal posts if he feels sorry for one of the parties. Mr de Freitas daughter was dead and he won the sympathy of the judge on a legal technicality.

7. Do you regret anything or would you change anything you did in hindsight?

It's all very well to look back in hindsight but there was no way of telling she was going to make a false accusation of rape. We had friends in common and had flirted over Facebook messenger for two months. This was not some stranger I had picked up in a bar. There was almost no alcohol involved. We had one drink each the entire evening. We were sober. There was no 'blame' on my part. This was a pre-planned date with someone I knew. There was no ambiguity about consent. It was very simply a false allegation based on revenge, because I rejected her.

I had no idea about her mental health issues either. It does make me cross when people say 'you should be more careful next time' or 'I hope you learn your lesson'. It's like blaming someone who gets run over by a reckless driver. It's a random event in which I was the victim of a very serious crime.

The coroner made it very clear that there was no causal link between Ms de Freitas trial and her suicide. He said that there was a long history of issues between her and her parents and this could be as much to blame as her pending trial. Her own Psychiatrist assessed her as fit to stand trial in the days before the trial. Both the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General made statements saying it was correct for her trial to go ahead. Evidence also showed I was the second man she had falsely accused of rape. Should she have been allowed to be free to go on falsely accusing innocent men? Of course not.

All Eleanor de Freitas had to do was to apologise and admit her crime. That would have solved a lot of problems. My name would have been cleared and we could all got on with her lives (after a police warning / community service or short jail sentence - depending at what stage she recanted). She was never 'trapped' or put in a corner. The reality is that she had the steering wheel. She chose to inflict great harm on me and continued to spread lies from December 2012 right up to April 2014. False allegations of rape undermine the entire justice system and that was she was prosecuted for, not just the harm she inflicted on me.

With regards to suing her father, I slowly watched my life get torn apart when he went to the press. Rape allegations never go away. I wasn't going to just sit there and allow him to call me a rapist on tv, radio and national newspapers for the rest of my life. Yet I still tried avoid litigation and tried to warn him off going to the press. There were attempts to settle, for as little as £1 of damages (as a token admission that he had got things wrong and to clear my name). In 2018 he went to the press again (indirectly through his agents) to try to reignite the story again. 

My case still gets press attention about 5-10 times per year, when the press bring up similar cases. But the press are much more careful what they say now because they know I will sue them. So the end result is not so bad. It's better to fight your corner otherwise people will think 'he didn't challenge the allegations so he must be guilty'.

No comments:

Post a Comment