Calum Best is found NOT GUILTY of sexual assault after dancing with woman at Wayne Lineker’s Ibiza bar
CALUM Best has been found not guilty after being tried in Spain for an alleged sexual assault. A Brit holidaymaker claimed George Best’s son sexually assaulted her at Wayne Lineker’s beach club in Ibiza in April 2022.
Best spotted arriving at court on January 10Credit: Solarpix
Best was facing up to three years in prison if convicted and was warned he might have to wait up to three months for the verdict. But following a one-day trial last Tuesday at a Palma court he has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
He previously denied the allegations made against him by a British tourist. It is understood the decision to clear him by judges today was unanimous. But it was not immediately clear today if Spanish state prosecutors plan to appeal.
Prosecutor Miguel Tous called for Calum, 42, to be jailed for three years if convicted at the end of his trial. And he said he the 2006 Celebrity Love Island winner, who also starred in two series of Celebrity Big Brother, should be served with a restraining order. It would prevent him from going within 100 metres of the woman he was accused of targeting or from trying to contact her for five years.
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Best’s alleged victim told a court on January 10 she had a “panic attack” after the reality star is said to have “forced her hand on his crotch” while the pair were in a club. The Brit holidaymaker alleged that he sexually assaulted her by putting her hands down his shorts and onto his penis after saying: “I’ve got something for you, close your eyes.”
She made the shocking claims at Best’s sex assault trial held in the Audiencia Nacional court in Majorcan capital Palma. Claiming there was “some kind of forcing” before she managed to withdraw her hand and tell a friend she was with and raise the alarm with security staff at the O Beach club, she said: “The security man asked if he was one of Wayne Lineker’s friends and when I said ‘yes’ he laughed, said this happens all the time and told me he wasn’t going to call police.” Best, the current chairman of Dorking Wanderers FC women’s team, was in court to hear her give evidence via video link from the UK.
She admitted to agreeing to a request for a kiss on the lips after she followed him to a smoking area at Lineker’s famous beach club to “apologise” for a previous disagreement after her friend “inadvertently” pictured Best in the background of a video her friend took. But she insisted his subsequent actions were unwanted, telling the court: “After the kiss Calum Best told me he wanted to show me something, took my hand and guided me round the corner and asked me to close my eyes. “Then he put my right hand down his shorts and guided it towards his penis.
“My hands and his were there and he was sort of rubbing it and there was some kind of forcing, although not enough for me not to pull my hand away and out of his trousers which I did. Asked by state prosecutor Miguel Tous if she had wanted that, she replied: “No. And it wasn’t what I expected when he asked me to close my eyes and told me he had something for me.”
She added: “I went back to my friend and she asked me what was wrong because she could tell something was up. “I remember crying and having a panic attack and going to speak to the security guard immediately afterwards.” Calum, who won Celebrity Love Island in 2006 with Bianca Gascoigne and starred in Celebrity Big Brother, was impassive in court as he listened to her recollection of the events of the night of April 22, 2022.
She claimed the alleged assault happened on the same night he and others celebrated Wayne Lineker’s 60th birthday at the club in the party resort of San Antonio. London-based Best, taking to the stand in a light-grey suit over a light blue shirt, declined to answer questions from the state prosecutor or lead judge Tartalo but agreed to be questioned by his defence lawyer Jaime Campaner. He said he had consented to having his picture taken with his female accuser a couple of times.
Best added that it felt “awkward” when he was subsequently “followed” by the woman as he went outside for a cigarette and used the excuse of a DJ he recognised to leave the area quickly. He denied her claims that he got angry and had a prior altercation with the woman over photos or videos taken of him without his consent. Cops found him on San Antonio seafront around half an hour after he left the club and took him to a nearby police station.
Self-confessed teetotaler Best, whose famous dad died in 2005 aged 59 as a result of alcohol addiction, said: “They told me why they were there and I contested it many many times. I was in absolute shock.” Asked by Mr Campaner why he thought his accuser had raised the alarm, Best added: “I have thought about this a lot and the only things I can come up with are two.
“One was that she had already asked me a couple of times for pictures and I wasn’t maybe reciprocating the same energy. “But the main thing is that I know people get very drunk at the O Beach club and I don’t think she would have made the allegations she did if she hadn’t been drinking heavily.”
How you can get help
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons.
Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a -victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support -service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]. Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour -National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. CCTV video footage from the party venue that night shown to the court did not pick up the moment of the alleged sex assault – only the events immediately before and after it. The state prosecutor, telling the court a three-year prison sentence was the right punishment for Best if convicted, insisted in a brief closing speech: “For the prosecution the way the sexual assault happened has been proven here today in a clear and resounding manner.”
He also claimed that an acquaintance of Best who testified that the reality TV star had been with him almost all night – was “prepared by the defendant.” Best’s defence lawyer said the ten alcoholic drinks and shots his female accuser had confessed to drinking that day was reason enough to treat her testimony with caution. He highlighted what he described as “contradictions” in evidence she gave police and what she told the court.
The lawyer also flagged that prosecutors said in their pre-trial indictment Best had told his alleged victim “feel this” as he drew her hand towards his penis – but his accuser had not used that expression in court evidence. Offering a final address to the court, Calum said: “Thank you for your time and thank you for listening to my testimony.” Calum, whose dad scored 181 goals in 474 appearances for Manchester United and was capped 37 times by Northern Ireland, was arrested on October 12 2015 in the UK after a 20-year-old woman claimed he had sexually assaulted her.
He was held at the Innside Hotel in Manchester following a night out with friends including Ex on the Beach star Ashley Cain. Greater Manchester Police confirmed a fortnight later no further action was being taken. A spokesman for Calum added at the time: “The police have now looked into the matter and have taken the decision that there will be no further action regarding these allegations.”
Calum Best spent most of his childhood in Los Angeles where he became a model in his mid-teens.
In 2022 he appeared in and jointly won the fourth series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.